Comet 67P, the landing spot of Philae spacecraft is now thought to be brimming with alien life.
The landing spot of Philae was observed by astronomers to feature a black crust rich, organically rich. The living organisms dwelling underneath an icy surface are the best explanation for the feature.
Alongside Philae, the European Space Agency spacecraft Rosetta, currently orbiting 67P also transmitted data indicating organic material on the surface of the comet.
One of the key phenomenons that indicate alien microbial life could be hidden beneath the comet’s surface is that parts of it are collapsing from within. A study concerning the sinking of 67P’s surface was published in the Nature journal.
ESA’s Rosetta orbiter transmitted data indicating the existence of these sinkholes on the surface of the 67P comet, their diameters spanning from tens to hundreds of meters. One theory explaining the occurrence of sinkholes states that the patches of ice beneath the comet’s surface melt as the 67P approaches the Sun, thus collapsing areas underpinned by the icy patches.
As the sinkholes are forming, the material that was previously captured underneath the comet’s surface vaporizes, sending debris into space.
According to data transmitted by Rosetta, two types of sinkholes are marking the surface of 67P comet. Fresh sinkholes can be detected as there is no dust blanketing them and they emit gas.
Older sinkholes however, are full of gravel and dust and could have formed at an earlier point in the comet’s travel timeline towards the Sun.
It is still unclear when the sinkholes were created. An accurate learning of the ages of sinkholes featuring on the comet would take more study and could provide valuable insight as to the processes that led to their creation.
On August 13th Rosetta will be focused on the sinkholes marking 67P’s surface as the comet is at the nearest distance from the Sun. Hopefully, more insight will be provided on the creation of the cavities which are also thought to be an indication of alien microbial life.
“These are not easily explained in terms of prebiotic chemistry. The dark material is being constantly replenished as it is boiled off by the heat from the sun. Something must be doing that at a fairly prolific rate”,
explained astrobiologist and astronomer Chandra Wickramasinghe.
Philae landed on P67 comet in November. After a long silence, Philae came back to life and started transmitting data from the comet. Rosetta is currently orbiting 67P, complementing Philae’s efforts.
Image Source: esa.in