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Old 6th August 2007, 11:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

Editor's Note: We asked several scientists from various fields what they thought were the greatest mysteries today, and then we added a few that were on our minds, too. This article is one of 15 in LiveScience's "Greatest Mysteries" series running each weekday.
Life can be found in almost every nook and cranny of our planet Earth. Leaping, swimming, flying, sprinting, slithering, crawling or rooted firmly in place, organisms appear, die, and are replaced by new generations and new species.
Whether a similar bounty of life exists elsewhere in the universe is one of the oldest and most tantalizing questions of science. Considering the wide breadth of the universe and the countless stars it contains, the odds would seem in favor of the answer being "yes."
"We are here, made of stardust. Therefore, it is at least possible that there are others," said Jill Tarter, director of the Center for SETI Research in California.
Hardy critters
But today's scientists hope to get beyond mere statistics to find something more substantial, and more edifying. Perhaps more than at any other time in history, scientists are optimistic that extraterrestrial life does exist, and that a firm confirmation can be had.
Their hope is buoyed by recent discoveries of worlds beyond our solar system and new revelations recently learned about the hardiness of life here on our own planet.
"As we learn more about the diversity of life, particularly microbial life, we expand our definition of what life is and how life can exist in some very hostile (to humans) environments," said biologist Diana Northup of the University of New Mexico.
Scientists have discovered microbes that are resilient to levels of heat, cold, salt, acidity, and radiation that would kill humans. Some of these so-called "extremophiles" have been found thriving in complete darkness, in parched deserts and even miles below ground.
All of this is good news for astrobiologists who dream of finding life beyond Earth's confines, as many of the extreme environments on our planet are thought to be the norm for other worlds. Earth's deserts, for example, have analogues on dry, dusty Mars. Saturn's moon Titan is a world of meandering rivers and lakes, and beneath the icy crust of another Saturn moon, Enceladus, might lie environments resembling the frigid ocean depths of Earth.
Brave new worlds
Astrobiologists are also heartened by the recent explosion of new planets discovered outside our solar system. Since 1995, when astronomers spotted the first planet in orbit around another normal star, the number of extrasolar planets, or "exoplanets," has swelled to over 200. Scientists now know of more than 20 times more planets outside our solar system than in it.
The majority of exoplanets discovered so far are bloated, fast-spinning gas giants, known as "hot Jupiters," that orbit extremely close to their stars and are thus probably unsuitable for life.
But some exoplanets are wondrously Earth-like. Scientists recently spotted one world only 20.5 light-years away that lies within the habitable zone of its star—the region around a star where liquid water, and thus life, might exist. (It was later discovered the planet might be too hot for life, but another potentially habitable world in the same system was quickly found to take its place.)
With the ongoing refinement of current planet-finding techniques and the launch of new satellites, scientists expect not only to find a truly Earth-like world, but to also be able to probe it for life's spectral fingerprints carried by a planet's reflected light.
"Depending on what level of seeking and finding we are prepared to do, we could make discoveries in the next two decades that entirely change the way we understand the universe and life," said Margaret Turnbull, an astrobiologist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.
SETI
Of course, there is always the chance that extraterrestrial life will find us first. Perhaps not in the form of a visiting UFO, but a radio transmission from an advanced alien civilization is still considered within the realm of possibility.
"Mankind has achieved scientific-technological civilization only in the last 200 years or so, out of about 4.5 billion years of life on Earth," said Frank Wilczek, a Nobel-Prize winning physicist at MIT. "So it seems we ought to expect there to be many scientific-technological civilizations that have had many millions, or even billions, of years to develop."
But even the discovery of one single-celled microbe on a distant world would be enough—enough to finally answer that age old question of "Are we alone in the universe?" and enough to change how humanity views itself.
"The discovery of life forms inhabiting the unexplored extremities of our own planet, and eventually, the discovery of life on other planets, will bring into greater awareness the magnificence of a living universe," Turnball told LiveScience, "and, hopefully, a better understanding of ourselves."

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Old 7th August 2007, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

I dont think that we are alone in the universe actually considering that the universe is so vast. We could have been an alien ourselves considering that there are no living things on earth till after a billion years or so after the formation of earth and etc. Maybe that we are just virus or cells carried by the meteors when they striked the earth. It could have means that there may be other more intelligent creatures.

Come and think of it, we would also be an alien when we visit another planet and another planet native would have think that we are high class aliens when they cannot even do space travelling.

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Old 10th August 2007, 01:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

If anyone's interested, you can visit a website "alienintrusion.com"

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Old 22nd August 2007, 11:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

Hihi.. What i can say is that.. there are really alien.. my defination of aliens = living things which look like human beings BUT somehow not human.. =).. this story was from my dad..

He once told me that when he was a student in singapore.. 三山中学.. it was located near kk hospital in the past.. duno if there's still this sch.. he told me there was once.. many uninvited hand-sized figures came to his sch.. i wasn't one.. it was a group.. my dad saw it with his own eyes.. black colour figures.. in fact it was in the news claimed my dad.. if anyone's parents born in around 1957 and studying in 三山中学 last time.. u guys can ask ur parents..

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Old 22nd August 2007, 11:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

Originally Posted by id_peace
I dont think that we are alone in the universe actually considering that the universe is so vast. We could have been an alien ourselves considering that there are no living things on earth till after a billion years or so after the formation of earth and etc. Maybe that we are just virus or cells carried by the meteors when they striked the earth. It could have means that there may be other more intelligent creatures.

Come and think of it, we would also be an alien when we visit another planet and another planet native would have think that we are high class aliens when they cannot even do space travelling.
I subscribe to the belief called 'Panspermia', meaning that all life was seeded from universe.

Basically, this theory states that life exists in seeds, in this case, 'spermia', that travels through the universe. Such seeds float around and encounters many different types of celestial bodies such as asteroids, meteors, planets, and the list goes on.

When the seeds meet the requirements of its properties to produce life, it will grow into the being that its cells are meant to.

In Science, everything happens by occurrence. As long as the time is right, everything will happen. In Panspermic theory, Earth is always producing new species of life every now and then, when cosmic dust enters the atmosphere and starts growing.

So if these seeds are always in the universe, it is possible that other planets elsewhere in the universe might be seeded with sperms registered with the suitable set of properties to produce life. And from there, aliens exist.

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Old 29th August 2007, 11:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

The universe is big and vast, some where in it there are bound to have a solar system that is similar to ours.

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Old 29th August 2007, 11:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

alien live in Mar, yes they exist, they sometime will travel to our world for holiday

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Old 29th August 2007, 01:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

who knows? maybe there are humans thinking that aliens exist on another planet or something

nobody knows that

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Old 8th October 2007, 04:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

Alien might be existing among us for centuries. This I am not surprise.

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Old 8th October 2007, 05:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

Originally Posted by eevijjoy
Alien might be existing among us for centuries. This I am not surprise.
Lol i think you watch the movie transformer too much....

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Old 8th October 2007, 05:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

Originally Posted by TicTat
Lol i think you watch the movie transformer too much....
I watched it once. LOL! Well, anything is possible. Do you believe there are not just 1 universe? Many there are many universe. Many!

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Old 8th October 2007, 10:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

even if there are or there are no aliens existing ! dun let them be like the ALIEN and the PREDATORS can liao !

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Old 9th October 2007, 10:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

Earth is just like a speck of sand on the beach....there are thousands of star systems out there. There are thousands more that had not been discovered.

It is highly possible that some sort of alien lifes exsist somewhere out there. Some of them might be more advance then us, some of them are behind us in term of intelligence.

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Old 9th October 2007, 11:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

Originally Posted by Peuan Sanit
Earth is just like a speck of sand on the beach....there are thousands of star systems out there. There are thousands more that had not been discovered.

It is highly possible that some sort of alien lifes exsist somewhere out there. Some of them might be more advance then us, some of them are behind us in term of intelligence.
u mean millions of star systems..

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Old 9th October 2007, 09:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

They could be living among us without us knowing. Maybe their base is at Bermuda Triangle. Sometimes they kidnap people to do experiments. Maybe humans could actually be descendents of Aliens left on Earth for some reasons :handsup:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_astronaut_theories

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Old 9th October 2007, 11:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

are they much more intelligent and advanced in technology compared to us??

and the only thing You prolly need to worry about



are they gonna invade us??

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Old 9th October 2007, 11:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

They might invade us if we were doing our job to protect Earth but now, I think they will just wait for us to extinct since Global Warming is already doing it's job.

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Old 11th October 2007, 03:58 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

transformers?

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Old 11th October 2007, 05:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

Lol, i believe in it totally, but just felt we will not find out in our generation... sad..

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Old 12th October 2007, 03:04 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Greatest Mysteries: Does Alien Life Exist?

haha.. we got so many aliens from india and bangladesh... working in singapore... contribute to singapore growth.. (jokes).

Seriously... I saw a fireball moving zig zag and then slowly in one direction 10 years ago... on shinny day and open air... Not only me seeing... many ppl saw that... and We are curious what was that...
It could be an alien spacecrafdt flying in the air....

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