Could a planetary neighbour hold alien life?

Could a planetary neighbour hold alien life?

Earth-like planets populated by alien races have always been the stuff of science-fiction books and films, rather than reality.

Indeed, characters such as Captain Kirk will regard travelling to other worlds and meeting little green men as a fairly routine part of their day.

But for those of us on Planet Earth, it's a far more remote possibility and we're yet to prove that we aren't alone in the universe.

That's not to say scientists aren't looking for alien life and technology has progressed to the point where we can get a distant look at planets in neighbouring star systems.

By examining factors such as their atmosphere and orbit patterns, they can get a reasonably good idea of whether or not these planets are capable of supporting life.

No wonder, then, that they are so excited by the discovery of a planet in Gliese 832's so-called habitable zone – an area that meets the criteria we on Earth believe enables life to exist.

Abel Mendez Torres, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico, noted that the planet – named Gliese 832c – is one of the three most Earth-like planets that has yet been found.

Furthermore, it is closer to us than the other two worlds – Gliese 667Cc and Kepler-62-e.

Since it's located a mere 16 light years away from Earth, a small distance in astronomical terms, it's certainly tempting to say let's engage warp factor nine and check it out for ourselves.

But sadly, rocket scientists haven't cracked interstellar travel just yet, so we might need to get in touch with the possible residents another way.

It's possible that they may have spotted us already and are already trying to introduce themselves to humankind, maybe through a psychic with experience of communicating with UFO occupants – why not text a psychic to see if one is trying to contact you?

If we can't physically get there, this might be our best hope of establishing contact with whoever lives on Gliese 832c.

The prospect of finding neighbours in the universe is tremendously exciting, although we've all seen War of the Worlds and Independence Day, so let's hope they're friendly!

 

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