Just thinking out of the box may help us spot alien life, says new study


A new study report titled 'An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe' has suggested a new way to spot extraterrestrial existence in the deep space. The research report reveals that astrobiology is a thriving field, and more thinking out of the box in this arena is essential to broaden the horizons of human understanding about extraterrestrial existence.

"If we're really going to achieve a goal as lofty as this, then outside-the-box thinking is really required. It is an endless journey to continue to broaden our horizons," said Barbara Sherwood Lollar, the Committee Chair of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine who led the study.

The report talks about the necessity of embracing more advanced technologies while searching for an alien presence. As per the report, building incredibly powerful telescopes and star-light blocking instruments are very much necessary to find the alien life that may be thriving somewhere in the deep space.

The research report suggests that what's uninhabitable for one form of life could be perfect condition for life for others. For example, deepest portions under the Antarctican ice sheets were once considered inhabitable, but now recent researches have revealed that there is an isolated habitat under these sheets where microbes and other similar creatures thrive easily.

These discoveries have led the researchers to think in a similar direction. In the study report, they wrote that creative thinking is a prerequisite to find extraterrestrial life forms. In particular, these researchers pointed out the vitality of searching for living forms dwelling in subsurface areas.

As per the new study report, the key challenge to spot alien life is precisely finding and interpreting biosignatures as the universe does not come equipped with giant arrows pointing towards life.

"Life doesn't really do anything that chemistry can't do unless you talk about really complex molecules like drugs and things. Life is a system-level property, so you can't really take apart the components and say that the components are indicative of life," said Sara Walker, an astrobiologist at Arizona State University who was not a part of the study.

This article was first published on October 11, 2018
Related topics : Alien