On Oct. 30, 1938, a dramatized version of the 1898 H.G. Wells novel “The War of the Worlds” played on the CBS Radio system across the United States. The story details how martians attacked Earth.
The radio broadcast caused a reaction when people mistook it for a real radio report, but accounts vary as to how much of a reaction there was. Some accounts describe nationwide panic, while others say not very many people actually listened to the broadcast.
Extraterrestrial life, also called alien life (or, if it is a sentient or relatively complex individual, an “extraterrestrial” or “alien”), is life that occurs outside of Earth and that probably did not originate from Earth. These hypothetical life forms may range from simple prokaryotes to beings with civilizations far more advanced than humanity.The Drake equation speculates about the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. The science of extraterrestrial life in all its forms is known as exobiology.
Since the mid-20th century, there has been an ongoing search for signs of extraterrestrial life. This encompasses a search for current and historic extraterrestrial life, and a narrower search for extraterrestrial intelligent life. Depending on the category of search, methods range from the analysis of telescope and specimen data to radios used to detect and send communication signals.
The concept of extraterrestrial life, and particularly extraterrestrial intelligence, has had a major cultural impact, chiefly in works of science fiction. Over the years, science fiction communicated scientific ideas, imagined a wide range of possibilities, and influenced public interest in and perspectives of extraterrestrial life. One shared space is the debate over the wisdom of attempting communication with extraterrestrial intelligence. Some encourage aggressive methods to try for contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life. Others—citing the tendency of technologically advanced human societies to enslave or wipe out less advanced societies—argue that it may be dangerous to actively call attention to Earth.
Planetary habitability in the Solar System
In the early 20th century, Venus was often thought to be similar to Earth in terms of habitability, but observations since the beginning of the Space Age have revealed that Venus’s surface is inhospitable to Earth-like life. However, between an altitude of 50 and 65 kilometers, the pressure and temperature are Earth-like, and it has been speculated that thermoacidophilic extremophile microorganisms might exist in the acidic upper layers of the Venusian atmosphere. Furthermore, Venus likely had liquid water on its surface for at least a few million years after its formation.
Life on Mars has been long speculated. Liquid water is widely thought to have existed on Mars in the past, and now can occasionally be found as low-volume liquid brines in shallow Martian soil. The origin of the potential biosignature of methane observed in Mars’ atmosphere is unexplained, although hypotheses not involving life have also been proposed.
There is evidence that Mars had a warmer and wetter past: dried-up river beds, polar ice caps, volcanoes, and minerals that form in the presence of water have all been found. Nevertheless, present conditions on Mars’ subsurface may support life. Evidence obtained by the Curiosity rover studying Aeolis Palus, Gale Crater in 2013 strongly suggests an ancient freshwater lake that could have been a hospitable environment for microbial life.
Current studies on Mars by the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers are searching for evidence of ancient life, including a biosphere based on autotrophic, chemotrophic and/or chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms, as well as ancient water, including fluvio-lacustrine environments (plains related to ancient rivers or lakes) that may have been habitable. The search for evidence of habitability, taphonomy (related to fossils), and organic carbon on Mars is now a primary NASA objective.
Ceres, the only dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, has a thin water-vapor atmosphere. Frost on the surface may also have been detected in the form of bright spots.The presence of water on Ceres has led to speculation that life may be possible there.
Carl Sagan and others in the 1960s and 1970s computed conditions for hypothetical microorganisms living in the atmosphere of Jupiter. The intense radiation and other conditions, however, do not appear to permit encapsulation and molecular biochemistry, so life there is thought unlikely.In contrast, some of Jupiter’s moons may have habitats capable of sustaining life. Scientists have indications that heated subsurface oceans of liquid water may exist deep under the crusts of the three outer Galilean moons—Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The EJSM/Laplace mission is planned to determine the habitability of these environments.
Internal structure of Europa. The blue is a subsurface ocean. Such subsurface oceans could possibly harbor life.
Jupiter’s moon Europa has been subject to speculation about the existence of life due to the strong possibility of a liquid water ocean beneath its ice surface. Hydrothermal vents on the bottom of the ocean, if they exist, may warm the ice and could be capable of supporting multicellular microorganisms. It is also possible that Europa could support aerobic macrofauna using oxygen created by cosmic rays impacting its surface ice.
The case for life on Europa was greatly enhanced in 2011 when it was discovered that vast lakes exist within Europa’s thick, icy shell. Scientists found that ice shelves surrounding the lakes appear to be collapsing into them, thereby providing a mechanism through which life-forming chemicals created in sunlit areas on Europa’s surface could be transferred to its interior.
On 11 December 2013, NASA reported the detection of “clay-like minerals” (specifically, phyllosilicates), often associated with organic materials, on the icy crust of Europa. The presence of the minerals may have been the result of a collision with an asteroid or comet according to the scientists. The Europa Clipper, which would assess the habitability of Europa, is planned for launch in 2025. Europa’s subsurface ocean is considered the best target for the discovery of life.
Titan and Enceladus have been speculated to have possible habitats supportive of life.
Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, has some of the conditions for life, including geothermal activity and water vapor, as well as possible under-ice oceans heated by tidal effects. The Cassini–Huygens probe detected carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen—all key elements for supporting life—during its 2005 flyby through one of Enceladus’s geysers spewing ice and gas. The temperature and density of the plumes indicate a warmer, watery source beneath the surface.
Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is the only known moon in the Solar System with a significant atmosphere. Data from the Cassini–Huygens mission refuted the hypothesis of a global hydrocarbon ocean, but later demonstrated the existence of liquid hydrocarbon lakes in the polar regions—the first stable bodies of surface liquid discovered outside Earth. Analysis of data from the mission has uncovered aspects of atmospheric chemistry near the surface that are consistent with—but do not prove—the hypothesis that organisms there if present, could be consuming hydrogen, acetylene and ethane, and producing methane.
Small Solar System bodies
Small Solar System bodies have also been speculated to host habitats for extremophiles. Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe have proposed that microbial life might exist on comets and asteroids.
Models of heat retention and heating via radioactive decay in smaller icy Solar System bodies suggest that Rhea, Titania, Oberon, Triton, Pluto, Eris, Sedna, and Orcus may have oceans underneath solid icy crusts approximately 100 km thick. Of particular interest in these cases is the fact that the models indicate that the liquid layers are in direct contact with the rocky core, which allows efficient mixing of minerals and salts into the water. This is in contrast with the oceans that may be inside larger icy satellites like Ganymede, Callisto, or Titan, where layers of high-pressure phases of ice are thought to underlie the liquid water layer.
Hydrogen sulfide has been proposed as a hypothetical solvent for life and is quite plentiful on Jupiter’s moon Io, and may be in liquid form a short distance below the surface.
What is the Roswell UFO incident?
The Roswell UFO incident is a world-renowned conspiracy theory about the existence of aliens.
In the summer of 1947, a farmer discovered unidentifiable debris in his sheep fields just outside Roswell, New Mexico.
A local Air Force base claimed the debris came from a crashed hot air balloon, but many people reckon it’s really the remains of a flying saucer.
The debate rumbles on, with people continuing to make claims about “leaked US government documents”, which supposedly prove it was a cover-up.
What happened at Rendlesham Forest?
Dubbed the “British Roswell”, a similar incident happened in Rendlesham Forest in 1980.
On December 26, Military personnel from RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge, in Suffolk, saw strange lights in a nearby forest – and three of them were sent out to investigate.
Two of them encountered a small, triangular shaped craft – which they later drew images of.
One man, Jim Penniston, got close enough to touch the side of the object.
Two nights later, Deputy Base Commander Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt and his team also encountered the UFO – and were left baffled by the entire experience.
How many alien and UFO sightings have there been?
The alien expert reckons there have been more than 100,000 recorded UFO sightings in the past 100-plus years.
A Few Reported Cases
Artist Dave Huggins believes he lost his virginity to a busty alien called Crescent – and has fathered 60 ‘hybrid’ babies.
Some people even believe this picture of Jesus’ crucifixion – which hangs on the walls of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Georgia – is proof that aliens visited Earth thousands of years ago.
In July 2017, new research was published that suggested “free-floating” earth sized plants could exist and that some of them may even be able to harbour life.
And at the end of August, alien hunters from the Breakthrough Listen project detected “fast radio bursts” coming from a mysterious cluster of stars – which may have been produced by “extraterrestrial civilizations”.
In October 2017, an Australian woman took a picture of what she believed was a ‘flying saucer’ hovering over the Great Barrier Reef. Far North Queensland is considered a UFO hotspot, with several sightings of mystery aircraft in the sky over several decades.
A UFO shaped like a tic-tac stalked a US Aircraft carrier for days before vanishing into thin air, according to a Pentagon report which emerged in May, 2018.
The object – which could reportedly hover in mid air and make itself invisible – bamboozled US Navy fighter pilots during a training exercise in the Pacific Ocean in November, 2004.
How Would Humanity React
Would it be like the report after H.G. Wells novel “The War of the Worlds” was played on the CBS Radio. That a nationwide panic broke out or would it be that we are get used to alien stories that humanity would carry on in their daily lives.
“That’s Just One Question I Can’t Answer”
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