2 We Are Not Alone
In our lifetime, space experts predict that we will discover alien life. The more we learn, the more unlikely that we are all alone on our tiny blue marble in the vastness of space. NASA astronomer Kevin Hand even said, “I think in the next 20 years, we will find out we are not alone in the universe.”
Extrasolar planets (aka exoplanets) are those that orbit around a star like our Sun. The first one was discovered in 1995. Today, we’ve observed around 4,000 exoplanets. More than 50 are Earth-sized planets.
In 2014, NASA observed a planet the size of Earth orbiting a sun just like ours right in the sweet spot of the habitable zone. We are getting closer every year to fundamentally shifting how humanity sees itself in the universe. It’s just a matter of waiting.
3 Life Can Survive On An Asteroid
There have been a lot of studies about life enduring the journey through space on an asteroid’s back. It appears to be possible. Gerda Horneck, a microbiologist for the German Aerospace Center, discovered that bacteria can survive in space for years.
In the 1980s, she sent living organisms to live on a NASA satellite. Without nutrients, the bacteria formed resilient spores that acted as a defensive shell. Intense ultraviolet rays killed the top layer of spores, but the dead spores only strengthened the outer layer to shield the life within. After six years, those stubborn bacteria had survived the frigid vacuum of space—to everyone’s disbelief.
Tardigrades (aka “water bears”) can also survive UV exposure with no problem. But if a microorganism was shielded from the UV rays, as it would be inside, say, a meteor, it would be even easier to survive. Some studies suggest that microbes hitching a ride deep within a meteor could even survive hundreds of millions of years in a dormant state.