Life on other Planets

Alex Gao's image for:
"Life on other Planets"
Image by: 

Is there life on other planets?

This is a question we have been pondering for many years. As we look up at the expanse of the night sky and see the countless stars around us, we cannot help but wonder if there really is life on some distant planet. It is completely possible that there is some intelligent form of life somewhere in the galaxy. Earth was able to sustain life by mere chance. A favorable combination of elements and other factors gave Earth running water and breathable air. Even though we have seen that this luck is rare and evidence of more "Earths" have not been discovered yet. But that does not mean that we alone are the only intelligent life-forms in the universe. Somewhere, far off in the universe, or even in our own galaxy, there could very well be civilizations of beings more intelligent and more sophisticated than we can hope to be.

There is also the possibility that out of the billions of stars and planets in the universe, Earth alone was the only one to have the set of circumstances that allowed it to foster and continue to sustain intelligent life. There is the possibility that we are alone in the universe as the only intelligent life-forms, but I highly doubt that. Given the vastness of the universe and the countless planets with the capacity to sustain life, it is hard to believe that we are alone in the universe.

The discovery of such civilizations is limited by our technology. Even at the astonishing speed it is advancing, we would need to be able to travel at several times the speed of light to reach planets with the potential to support life.

As of today, we have discovered and catalogued numerous planets that may hold the same unique set of circumstances that allowed Earth to sustain life, but our knowledge on these planets is limited, as we do not have the technology to travel there. Even so, these planets are thousands, even millions of light-years away from planet Earth, and the technology for us to visit those planets are still decades, if not centuries in the future. But, it is almost certain that somewhere, on some distant planet there are other living, intelligent beings, looking up at the night sky, and wondering if they were alone in the universe.

More about this author: Alex Gao

From Around the Web