• Question: is there aliens ?

    Asked by annelouise372 to Sara, Kimberley, Julia, Amy, Drew on 19 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by marks7r2, laurenthebest, fatimaxxo, retaxox, emmajane, emilyjordan, melissamartin123, ldennahy, rozz, ycul123, anam, smayo, kayla23, mwilliams, oeisenberg, mhudspeth, akyofori, cspooner, ropst896, blazingwhatyahhmean12, embmay, souveer, curtis123, ebrown, codycrowne13, emilee32, meghan26298, hwaghorne, lroche.
    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      I dont think any one knows.. this question has lead to many epic films and fantasies over the years…

      As far as our technology and science reaches we have not observed any aliens.
      But there are massive areas of space, other galaxies, other planets that we have not and probaly can never see.

      But if we are looking for signs of life on other planets, its more likely to be small organisms like bacteria, or eveidence of water which could sustain life as we know it.

      I’d like to think that somewhere there were aliens… what do you think?

    • Photo: Kimberley Bryon

      Kimberley Bryon answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      Right now we don’t really know. I find it hard to imagine that there isn’t some form of life somewhere else in the huge universe. I don’t think that they will look like the kind of aliens we see in films though.

      WHo knows perhaps alternative life forms will be discovered in our lifetime or our children’s lifetime!

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      Hi annelouise372! You’ve asked one of my favorite questions!! The answer is just as Julia and Kimberly have described – we just don’t know! There could be lots of aliens out there, or there could be none. I liked that Julia has asked what you think, because that really is our current state of knowledge, what do you think?

      I am an astrobiologist. So you’ve actually hit on my main area of study – the search for life in the universe! This is not a sci-fi as it may sound. Actually a lot of astrobiology is focused on studying life here on Earth. There is a lot we don’t know. Did you know that most life on Earth is actually microscopic bacteria? These are single-celled organisms that are tiny we can’t even see them with our own eyes! There is A LOT we don’t know about these tiny organisms. In fact some have suggested we may even find “alien” single celled life on Earth – a “shadow biosphere” we haven’t detected yet because it is so different than the life we have already studied.

      Julia pointed out an important point about these tiny organisms – if their is alien life out there it is more likely to be something like a bacteria than human (so most of those sci-fi alien thrillers are probably wrong!). Space programs like NASA and ESA are therefore looking for alien life right in our own solar system – places like the Europa, the icy moon of Jupiter that may have a liquid water ocean, Titan, the moon of Saturn with methane lakes, and of course Mars, our close planetary cousin!!

      For me, it is hard to imagine there isn’t alien life somewhere out there. Just go out on a dark night and look at the sky – every point of life is a star potentially harboring planets that could support life. That is A LOT of possibilities!! In fact, we’ve already discovered almost 1,000 planets orbiting these other stars!

      SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence) has been searching for signals from intelligent (like us) aliens for over 50 years. They haven’t found anything yet – but there are a lot of known stars and now planets to search. So who knows? It certainly is fun to think about =)

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      I haven’t seen any lately… but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there!! 🙂