Aliens should exist, given the number of planets in the universe with the potential for supporting life – but the absence so far of any confirmed extraterrestrial contact has puzzled scientists for a long time.
An Oxford professor of astrophysics explains what’s going on.
Astronomers estimate there are at least 17 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy – which itself is made up of 100 billion stars. And many of these rocky planets exist in the “Goldilocks” zone, that is, they are not too hot and not too cold to have liquid water.
The discovery of water on Mars has lent weight to the idea that alien life does exist on other planets. Scientists, like Oxford University astrophysics Professor Chris Lintott, believe bacteria is now likely to be found on the Red Planet, which Professor Lintott told Nine To Noon once had much, much more H20 on it.
“The old days of aliens wandering around Mars have been put to rest, but that’s why it’s interesting.
“Mars is sort of right on the edge, it’s a marginal case, it’s probably right on the edge of just being warm enough to sometimes have liquid water.
“We know it had lots of water in the past, it had oceans and lakes which have evaporated over the eons and over billions of years… So if life got started on Mars and in particular if life clung on on Mars as well, then that suggests it’s likely that it’s got a foothold everywhere in the universe.” […]