DailyDirt: Detecting Signs Of Life
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Looking for extraterrestrial life has been a largely fruitless task for many decades. There have been a few times when people thought they might have found evidence of life that wasn’t from Earth, but upon further analysis, those discoveries weren’t so clear cut. Still, the search for ETs is on-going, and here are just a few links on some ways to find alien friends.
- Spectroscopic biosignatures could be detected in light reflections off of alien planets. Reflected sunlight is polarized when it bounces off the Earth, and plant life on Earth absorb specific bands of light — so alien worlds may exhibit similar phenomena (if only we could detect it). [url]
- In the 1970s, there was some speculation that cellulose could be detected in interstellar space. However, it’s not so easy to figure out how to detect biopolymers in the vast vacuum of space. [url]
- The Drake Equation estimates how many alien civilizations might exist in our galaxy. It’s just an estimate, and there are a lot of unknown variables… [url]
- Moqui marbles are unusual spherical rocks that have a rusty iron oxide exterior and a sandy interior — and were formed with the help of microorganisms. So if we find similar rocks on other worlds, we might be able to infer that extra-terrestrial microbial life also exists. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.
Filed Under: aliens, biosignature, cellulose, et, extraterrestrial, interstellar space, life, moqui marbles, seti, spectroscopy
Comments on “DailyDirt: Detecting Signs Of Life”
perfect job security...
Since you can’t really ever PROVE the existence of life from other planets… as long as you can find some circumstantial evidence, you’ll be looking and looking and looking…
Those marble thingies wouldn’t happen to look anything like this:
Those “blueberries” on Mars were actually predicted to exist by some geologists.. but there may be abiotic processes that form similar spherical stones.
And I’m looking to the sky to save me, I’m looking for a sign of life.
Since life exists on Earth, and the universe contains 100s of billions of galaxies each holding 100s of billions of stars, and the universe is nearly 14 billion years old, it’s highly unlikely that life doesn’t exist or hasn’t existed elsewhere. As it’s impossible, as far as our understanding of physics, to travel faster than light, we’ll probably never meet them; but these efforts to try and find it are totally worth it, if only to dispel the notion that people are the only greatest thing since the big bang. Maybe that would encourage humans in the future to work together to accomplish great things instead of perpetuating the greed and counter-productive indiviualism that is the basis of our society.