• Question: Do you believe there are other life besides on Earth ?

    Asked by lukiaboltina0 on 4 May 2020.
    • Photo: Hazel Rooney

      Hazel Rooney answered on 4 May 2020:

      Hi Lukiaboltina0, hmmm this is a tricky question because so much is still unknown about our other planets! So far our astronauts and space scientists haven’t discovered any aliens (disappointing I know) but they have discovered life on other planets such as Mars. Who knows, maybe 100 years from now people will be sending post to people living on Mars or the Moon!!

    • Photo: Jun Lin

      Jun Lin answered on 4 May 2020:

      I always believe there are aliens out there 🙂

    • Photo: Aileen Doran

      Aileen Doran answered on 4 May 2020:

      Absolutely! I don’t think its the green little men that media suggests it is, but for example they’ve found suggestions of life on Mars via what appears to be bacteria (which may sound boring, but it’s still life on another planet!)! And Mars used to have running water on the surface (look up NASA cross-bedding; a type of rock layering).

      But, also, there are areas known as habitable zones, which are parts of space surrounding a star that can have earth-like planets, and where liquid water can exist. SO, for example, Earth is in the habitable zone of our sun (and slowly moving away from it). It’s basically the areas of space where life as we know it could exist. They’ve found several, Earth-like planets in habitable zones of other stars!

    • Photo: Dimitar Shterionov

      Dimitar Shterionov answered on 4 May 2020:

      I believe there are other intelligent beings in the universe. But it is so difficult to find each other, not only because of the fast distances in the universe, but also, because of time. Time is such a weird wibly wobly thing that passes differently for us and for others in the universe, that what is “now” for us can be 2 million years ago for other species. And so either they can be so evolved that they don’t comprehend what we are or they will be so far behind that they have not evolved to understand our messages.

    • Photo: Tiffany Slater

      Tiffany Slater answered on 4 May 2020:

      Absolutely, I believe so! It is currently estimated that there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe so I think at least one of those is bound to harbour life. But if so, do we have the technology to detect it? At the moment our technology is best able to detect life within our own galaxy – and we know that Mars once had water on its surface that might have been habitable for microorganisms. We haven’t detected any life, past or present, on Mars as of yet – but a new Mars rover is set to launch this July and it has a lot of new technology on it that will hopefully enable new findings. Since the planet is over 4 billion years old, if there is evidence of life on Mars it is most likely going to be in fossil form. I’m hoping they’ll need palaeontologists like me to help interpret them! Fingers crossed 🙂

    • Photo: Simon Spichak

      Simon Spichak answered on 4 May 2020:

      Hi, it depends on what kind of life you’re interested in finding! It’s likely that there are some microscopic organisms (like Earth bacteria) on other planets. In particular some scientists believe that Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons may actually contain some life! Isn’t that exciting? Since it’s got an icy surface with an ocean underneath, there’s a small chance we could fine some microbes down there!

      Now if we’re looking for intelligent life – this is a lot trickier! If there are intelligent life forms, we have no idea what they might look like. In 1961, Frank Drake decided to try and figure out how many intelligent alien civilizations, capable of communicating could be out there. So he created something called the Drake Equation to help make some educated guess about how many intelligent communicating civilizations may exist. They would be very hard to find because they’d need to be thriving at just the right moment in order to be communicating with us! Although it’s possible that intelligent life can pop up in the universe, they may have gone extinct before we got a chance to speak with them.

      So is there life out there in the universe? Probably some forms of teeny, tiny microbes. But is there intelligent life out there? We have no idea, we can only try and look for them.

    • Photo: James Sullivan

      James Sullivan answered on 4 May 2020:

      There are so many stars, and so many other planets that I think there must be. Whether it looks like life on Earth or very different I don’t know

    • Photo: Aruna Chandrasekar

      Aruna Chandrasekar answered on 4 May 2020:

      There isn’t definitive proof of this. but theoretically, there could be life beyond earth. The recent UFO sightings are proof (to a certain extent) of this.
      Some interesting fact about life on other planets that interested me was that life on other planets could be so far away that by the time we receive data from other planets we could probably be looking at how the planet was in the past, and not the present. Ex. A planet that is about a million light-years away, if they are looking at earth through a giant telescope will be looking at earth how it was with dinosaurs rather than how it is right now.
      While I hope that there is life outside of earth, it is a complex process with many variables and could be a long uncertain process of finding them.

    • Photo: Achim Schmalenberger

      Achim Schmalenberger answered on 4 May 2020:

      Given the amount of star systems and planets that we anticipate to be out there where conditions may be similar to that on earth, then yes. Especially if you think of life more like microbes. Indeed there is a good chance that there is life beside earth in our solar system, namely on a few of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. I don’t expect any Green Martians though. Finally, there is also the question when life exists. Are we ahead or late in our universe?

    • Photo: Aisling Ryan

      Aisling Ryan answered on 4 May 2020: last edited 4 May 2020 1:45 pm

      Great question and a very popular topic! I definitely believe there is life outside of Earth. I think there are lots of things that we are completely unaware of- science is so diverse and complicated. Anything is possible until proven not possible, and even then it still counts as a discovery!
      Something I find fascinating is that although scientists have discovered around 1.7 million species of plants, they believe that there are still over 5 million species of plants that we still haven’t discovered! I think that is crazy. Medicine is often derived from parts of plants, so imagine if the treatments for a lot of diseases are just waiting to be discovered among these 5 MILLION undiscovered plant species! I think the same can be said for life outside of Earth. Trying to get this sort of ‘undiscovered’ information outside of our planet is a lot trickier so I think it is definitely possible that life outside Earth exists, it is just very difficult, expensive and time consuming to gather such evidence! The proof that life can exist on Mars is just the beginning of a lot of possible future discoveries!

    • Photo: Michelle Monaghan

      Michelle Monaghan answered on 5 May 2020:

      I believe there is a possibility. This is not something I have researched so I can’t say I definitely believe until I know and understand all the evidence that is currently available. That said, the universe holds so much potential that I believe life outside of our planet could exist.

    • Photo: Sonia Lenehan

      Sonia Lenehan answered on 5 May 2020:

      Hi Lukiaboltina0! What a great question! Yes I do believe that there is life out there somewhere! Though it is more likely that it is bacteria or some other kind of microscopic organism. There is so much of space left to discover that it may be years and years before we have a definite answer to this. At the moment NASA are preparing to put a rover on Mars that has life-detecting equipment on it, so it will be really interesting to see what this rover discovers!

    • Photo: Jean O'Dwyer

      Jean O'Dwyer answered on 5 May 2020:

      I definitely do- the universe is so big that if we were the only ones here, it would literally be an awful waste of space!

    • Photo: Francesco Floris

      Francesco Floris answered on 5 May 2020:

      Amazing question! I am sure that we can’t be alone in this universe. The probability to find life somewhere else in some remote corner is, in my opinion, really high!

    • Photo: Tommy Hayden

      Tommy Hayden answered on 6 May 2020:

      Similar to several answers below, I think it’s nearly inevitable. The earth is just one rock spinning around one star and there is so much life here. There are so many stars we can see and presumably so many that we haven’t discovered yet it seems unlikely to me that the sun is the only star with a planet that can support life (especially if you consider the possibility of life in a form unfamiliar to us).

      Here on earth we’re continuously finding new lifeforms as our technology evolves to detect them and often in places that seem inhospitable

      If you think about where the ingredients for earth came from, there is evidence to suggest that earth was formed from bits of debris left over from the formation of the sun. There is also evidence to suggest that water was brought here by an asteroid colliding with the earth. There are plenty of asteroids floating about in space that could bring water to other planets

      Life as I know it needs water but it has to be at least possible that other materials could be capable of supporting other forms of life

      In my opinion the odds of there being no life anywhere other than on earth are a lot smaller than the odds of there being life elsewhere

    • Photo: Nadeem Rather

      Nadeem Rather answered on 6 May 2020:

      That is a very deep question: Yes, I do believe that there could be life beyond our planet. It is because when you look at the observed size of the universe, we are just a very very tiny part of it.

      Humans have not observed everything out there, therefore believing that we are the only living beings is not logical for me.

      Just to give you an idea of why I think so –

      Our planet earth revolves around the sun (a star) – with other planets makes a solar system

      Our solar system is a small part of the Milky Way galaxy – which consists of around 250 billion suns (Stars) and around 100 billion planets!!

      At this time we are doing experiments only on Mars… Imagine how we can have possible solutions to study planets for life so far away and so huge in number??? (you could come up with a solution.. future scientist 🙂 )

      Okay!! that is a lot of numbers – to make it a bit more – there are around two trillion galaxies (2,000,000,000,00) in-universe as observed –

      –So yes, I do believe there can be life on the other planets besides earth 🙂

    • Photo: Roisin Jones

      Roisin Jones answered on 6 May 2020:

      Hey there, great question! I think that given how big the universe is, it’s likely that somewhere else out there, the correct conditions for life exist and there probably is life on other planets, but whether or not it’s something that we would call ‘intelligent’ life is something else, I change my mind a lot about whether or not I think that could exist!

    • Photo: Lucy Blennerhassett

      Lucy Blennerhassett answered on 6 May 2020:

      Hi lukiaboltina0, yes I do. If not in our solar system than certainly outside it. I think the probability is too great considering there are roughly one hundred billion known galaxies! and thats just what we know….mind boggling isn’t it.

    • Photo: Enda O'Connell

      Enda O'Connell answered on 6 May 2020:

      Yes, I do. We just haven’t found each other yet! The universe is so big and there are so many stars that have planets that may be able to support life, that it would be so unlikely we are on our own. Did you know that scientists call the area surrounding a star that could support life The Goldilocks Zone? I love that! It is where the temperature is not too hot and not too cold, but just right for life to exist!

    • Photo: Ciara O'Donovan

      Ciara O'Donovan answered on 11 May 2020:

      Yes I do think there definitely is life elsewhere and not just on our earth.