Written By Anoushka Chopra (Grade 8)
From Yuri Gagarin’s first flight into space to Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon, humans have made countless discoveries about space. But the question remains – does life exist out there?
For years, people have wondered if there was any possibility of life outside of Earth. From thinking that there was no other planet besides Earth, we’ve discovered that there are millions of galaxies and a surprising number of tiny planets in the universe. Do any of these planets have conditions that could support life?
A paper written by researchers at Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics suggested the existence of some sort of space life that passed by Earth in the form of a mysterious unidentified object, known as Oumuamua.
Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, has the three key signs of life – water, chemical elements critical for biological processes and a source of energy that can be utilized by living organisms. Similarly, Saturn’s Enceladus is a small ocean world covered in ice, that scientists believe could harbour some sort of life.
But even if life is out there, will we able to recognize it, if and when we see it? Especially since we don’t know exactly what we are looking for?
Even though certain discoveries have been made regarding space life and steps have been taken for its exploration, actually finding life out there could take us decades if not centuries.
Featured Image Courtesy – DNA India