Best Evidence for Extraterrestrial Life – Part 1
By Will Hart
Science has been accumulating a mass of positive data regarding the existence of extraterrestrial life in recent decades. The game-changers have already happened and we are already in a new era with a paradigm-shift involving the earth’s place in the cosmos.
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It is one thing to speculate — including the formulation of statistical probabilities — that life exists elsewhere in the cosmos; quite another to have scientifically gathered evidence that proves it.
The age-old debate has been settled. NASA’s Curiosity rover has found evidence for an ancient, flowing stream on Mars at a few sites, including the rock-outcrop pictured below. The science team named the site “Hottah” after Hottah Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
Remnants of Ancient Streambed on Mars (White-Balanced View) Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
NASA’s Curiosity rover found evidence for an ancient, flowing stream on Mars at a few sites, including the rock outcrop pictured here, which the science team has named “Hottah” after Hottah Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It may look like a broken sidewalk, but this geological feature on Mars is actually exposed bedrock made up of smaller fragments cemented together, or what geologists call a sedimentary conglomerate. Scientists theorize that the bedrock was disrupted in the past, giving it the titled angle, most likely via impacts from meteorites.
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover found evidence for ancient, water-transported sediment on Mars at a few sites, including the rock outcrop pictured here, named “Hottah”. Rounded pebbles within this sedimentary conglomerate indicate sustained abrasion of rock fragments within water flows that crossed Gale Crater.
The key evidence for the ancient stream comes from the size and rounded shape of the gravel in and around the bedrock. Hottah has pieces of gravel embedded in it, called clasts, up to a couple inches (few centimeters) in size and located within a matrix of sand-sized material. Some of the clasts are round in shape, leading the science team to conclude they were transported by a vigorous flow of water. The grains are too large to have been moved by wind. Erosion of the outcrop results in gravel clasts that protrude from the outcrop and ultimately fall onto the ground, creating the gravel pile in the left foreground. The scale bar at lower right is 5 centimeters (2 inches).
This view of Hottah is a mosaic of images taken by the right (telephoto-lens) camera of the Mast Camera instrument (Mastcam) on Curiosity during the 39th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars (Sept. 14, 2012 PDT/Sept. 15 GMT). It has been enhanced for presentation in white-balanced color, which yields a view as if the rock were seen under outdoor lighting conditions on Earth, which is useful for scientists to distinguish rocks by color in familiar lighting. A “raw color” view of Hottah, showing the colors as recorded by the camera on Mars, is at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16156 . A stereo view is at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16223. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates Mastcam. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the mission’s Curiosity rover for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. For more about NASA’s Curiosity mission, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl, http://www.nasa.gov/mars, and http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.
Where there is water there has probably also been some form of life.
The above images compare two sites, one on Mars; one on Earth, the latter a known streambed, showing the close similarities. The following is a quote from the NASA JPL lab:
“The rocks are the first ever found on Mars that contain streambed gravels. The sizes and shapes of the gravels embedded in these conglomerate rocks – from the size of sand particles to the size of golf balls – enabled researchers to calculate the depth and speed of the water that once flowed at this location.”
Another, lesser known finding was announced by NASA in 2013. Using the powerful Hubble Space Telescope, two teams of scientists discovered faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets.
This was the first study to conclusively measure and compare the profiles of these signatures on multiple, distant worlds. Planetary scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. conducted the research and summed up their findings in a published report in the following way:
“This work really opens the door for comparing how much water is present in atmospheres on different kinds of exoplanets, for example hotter versus cooler ones.” …The five planets are hot Jupiters, massive worlds that orbit close to their host stars…. [See also http://hubblesite.org/news/2013/54]
The above discoveries lend strong support to the theories of panspermia and directed panspermia. In fact, the findings are exactly what they predict, and must have, whereas they deal a fatal blow to Darwinian, closed-system evolution, concepts about how life originated on earth.
Correctly predicting the outcomes of future experiments is one of the strongest supports for any scientific theory. These findings are not all predicted by Darwinism and that fact should not be taken for granted.
In contrast, both panspermia, the theory that the seeds of life are transferred by cosmic objects to various planets; and directed panspermia the theory that the seeds of life were shipped to earth by an advanced civilization predict the above findings.
If recent space explorations had only come up with the proof that water exists beyond the earth, on Mars, that would be a big, first step. However, we have much more positive evidence to examine.
In years, the European Space Agency announced that its HARPS planet finder revealed that rocky planets — not much bigger than Earth — are very common in the habitable zones around faint red (dwarf) stars.
This discovery crushes the old ideas that earth is exceptional in the universe; and that we are probably alone. The international team estimated that there are tens of billions of such planets in the Milky Way galaxy; beyond that probably one hundred in the Sun’s (red dwarf star’s) immediate neighborhood.
Red dwarfs are faint, cool stars compared to our Sun, but very common with very long-lives; therefore they account for 80% of all the stars in the Milky Way.
About 40% of all red dwarf stars have a super-Earth orbiting in the habitable zone where liquid water can exist on the surface of the planet according to the researchers.
“Because red dwarfs are so common — there are about 160 billion of them in the Milky Way — this leads us to the astonishing result that there are tens of billions of these planets in our galaxy alone.” (European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Next, we have the equally compelling results produced by the Kepler telescope. Kepler was launched by NASA to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. The spacecraft, named after the Renaissance astronomer Johannes Kepler, was launched on March 7, 2009.
According to a study of the data produced by the mission — by Caltech astronomers published in January 2013 — the Milky Way Galaxy contains at least as many planets as it does stars, resulting in 100–400 billion exoplanets. The study based on planets orbiting the star Kepler-32, suggests that planetary systems may be common around stars in our galaxy.
The discovery of 461 more candidates was announced on 7 January 2013. The longer Kepler scans the cosmos, the more planets with long periods it can detect.
“Since the last Kepler catalog was released in February 2012, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars – NASA
A new candidate, announced on January 7, 2013, is Kepler-69c (formerly, KOI-172.02), an Earth-like exoplanet, orbiting a star similar to our Sun in the habitable-zone, and possibly a “prime candidate to host alien life“.
In April 2013, NASA announced the discovery of three new Earth-like exoplanets – Kepler-62e, Kepler-62f, and Kepler-69c – in the habitable zones of their respective host stars,Kepler-62 and Kepler-69. The new exoplanets, which are considered prime candidates for possessing liquid water and thus potentially life, were identified.
On May 15, 2013, NASA announced the spacecraft had been crippled by failure of a reaction wheel that keeps it pointed in the right direction. A second wheel had previously failed, and the spacecraft requires three wheels (out of four total) to be operational for the instrument to function properly.
Further testing in July and August determined that while Kepler was capable of using its damaged reaction wheels to prevent itself from entering safe mode and down-linking previously collected science data. But it was not capable of collecting further science data as previously configured.
Scientists working on the Kepler project said there was a backlog of data still to be looked at, and that more discoveries would be made in the following couple of years, despite the setback.
Although no new science data had been collected since the problem, an additional sixty-three candidates were announced in July 2013 based on the previously collected observations.
These are breakthrough findings that confirm what astronomers and astrophysicists have long suspected that life is common in the universe and not unique to our planet. All of the above studies validate the assumptions held by space scientists for decades.
The foregoing is heady stuff, but we are not yet done examining the best evidence. The next category is meteorites.
On 28 September 1969 at about 10:58 local time, near the town of Murchison, Victoria, in Australia, a bright fireball was observed to separate into three fragments before disappearing. About 30 seconds later, a tremor was heard. Many fragments were found over an area larger than 13 km², with individual mass up to 7 kg; one, weighing 680 g, broke through a roof and fell in hay. The total collected mass exceeds 100 kg.
This meteorite has been studied extensively and the results are presented below.
The researchers identified key chemical components of DNA and RNA—components called nucleobases in the fallen meteorite material. Lead researcher Zita Martins – University College London – explained that nucleobases had been found in other meteorites too, but it was unclear how they got there.
However, she added that, “Our study really proved that in fact they are extraterrestrial.”
She explained that is the case because they contain a heavy isotope of carbon that forms only in outer space. The findings add to a growing body of evidence that the first building blocks of life came from meteorites and comets, asserted by panspermia proponents.
Another meteorite blazed across the skies of California in 2012 and parts landed near Sutter’s Mill. Some of them were retrieved and turned over to a team of scientists.
They subsequently analyzed the fragments and discovered the ingredients for life, which is potent confirmation of the Murchison findings. According to Sanddra Pizzarellor, a research professor in ASU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and member of the team that analyzed material from the meteorite:
“The meteorite contains organic molecules not previously found in any meteorites. Our findings suggest a far greater availability of extraterrestrial organic molecules than previously thought possible, an inventory that could indeed have been important in molecular evolution and life itself.” (Science Daily, 9/13)
This represents extraordinarily strong support for the theory of panspermia; and some support for directed panspermia.
Now we can add that organic compounds exist beyond the earth, in space, along with water and millions of potentially habitable planets. Is modern science zooming in on proving that life, not only exists in outer space, but that extraterrestrial civilizations also exist?
In fact, according to a just published article,
“Earthlings may be extreme latecomers to a universe full of life, with alien microbes possibly teeming on exoplanets beginning just 15 million years after the Big Bang, new research suggests…” (Discovery)
In their 1969 paper, which presented the theory that microbes were dispatched to earth billions of years ago by an advanced civilization scientists, Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel wrote:
However, some second generation stars not unlike the Sun must have formed within 2 x 10gyr of the origin of the galaxy. Thus it is quite probable that planets not unlike the Earth existed as much as 6.5 x 10gyr before the formation of our own Solar System. (Francis Crick & Leslie Orgel – Directed Panspermia, 1972, paper)
With each passing year it becomes more evident that we are not alone in the Universe…