Two top scientists believe that the comet ESA’s probe Philae landed on may host alien microbial life under its dark icy crust. The data transmitted by Philae’s “mothership” Rosetta also reportedly hints at possible traces of alien life on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s bumpy surface.
The European Space Agency researchers reported that Rosetta’s imagery had revealed “clusters” of what may be organic material that looks like alien microbial particles. On the other hand, none of the two probes currently exploring 67P is not equipped with the necessary tools to analyze whether those clusters hold organic matter.
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, who had collaborated with the space agency on planning the comet mission about 15 years ago, recalled that his proposal of embedding a “life-detection” tool in on of the crafts was rejected as being “bizarre.”
Prof. Wickramasinghe and fellow researcher Dr Max Wallis from the University of Cardiff in the U.K. speculate that 67P-like comets have great potential of hosting alien life. But it is not about the Hollywood-like aliens. We are rather talking about living microbial organisms that are very similar to the Earth’s extremophiles.
The two researchers are deeply convinced that comets may have been the vehicles of life carrying genetic material from one planet to another. The two advocated for this theory during the during the annual astronomy convention of the Royal Astronomical Society’s astronomers in Llandudno, Wales.
Philae lander was the first man-made object to land on a moving comet. He reached 67P last November, but the very bumpy landing triggered by a malfunction in one of its harpoons thrust it out of Rosetta’s sight and forced it to enter hibernation mode.
The hibernation lasted for nearly seven months. In early June, enough sun light reached the probe’s solar panels to restart system. Currently, the 2.5-mile-wide 67P is on a high-speed race towards the Sun so more details on the comet should be soon visible as it is spinning its way to our host star.
The comet is located nearly 177 million miles from our planet and speeds at more than 72.540 miles per hour.
The two scientists back their theory with computer models that revealed alien microbes may live in the icy watery regions of the comet. Simulations had shown that if the microbes contain with antifreeze compounds they should be able to resist up to minus 104 degrees F or minus 40 degrees C.
The icy layer that may hold alien life is hidden under a thick hydrocarbon crust. But its most organic-matter-rich regions are the comet’s craters which hold lake-shaped bodies of re-frozen water, scientists suggest.
Image Source: Twitter