The Search for ET continues

We are all Aliens...

This Tuesday (6th July) was the 63rd anniversary of the Roswell UFO incident and even those with no interest or knowledge of UFO's or aliens have heard of Roswell, 6th July 1947. The story goes that a UFO crashed in the desert around Roswell and that the American military recovered parts of the spaceship and also alien bodies, which they performed autopsies on.

The military later called a press conference where they released photo's of a few officers holding onto what appears to be silver foil and wood, parts of a crashed military balloon. Many believe that this was a cover-up and most witness accounts tell a very different story. This controversy has continued ever since, with many new witnesses coming forward over the years including a military Major who was involved in the recovery (Jesse Marcel) and former mortician Glen Dennis who gave a detailed account of the alien autopsy's performed.

Due to the amount of reports and witness statements, the US Airforce even conducted internal investigations into Roswell which concluded the debris recovered in 1947 was most likely from a secret government program called Project Mogul which involved high altitude balloons meant to detect sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests and ballistic missiles.

Many UFO proponents have dismissed these claims, siting again a cover-up and dis-information, however some UFO researchers don't actually believe that the Roswell incident had anything to do with aliens.

Regardless of the facts, the incident encouraged a whole generation to believe in the possibility of life on other planets and over the last few years the evidence of extra terrestrial life has been slowly growing. There is even mounting evidence that there may be life within our own solar system including Titan (one of Saturn's moons), while evidence continues to grow over the possibility of past life on Mars, with NASA hoping to send a mobile laboratory to the Red Planet to hunt for any signs of present life.

NASA and other space agencies have been hunting for possible habitable worlds for some time now and have already found some very interesting planets and even one that shouldn't exist, according to our accepted theory of planet building.

500 Light years away, a planet about 8 times the size of jupiter orbits a very young star. Circling 300 times farther from the star than earth orbits our sun, a distance that is so great that as far as we know, couldn't have formed a planet.

To quote California Institute of Technology astronomer John Johnson:

"There is no theory for how a true planet can form at 300 AU (astronomical units, with one unit equal to 93 million miles, the mean distance between Earth and the sun). It's not really a lack of imagination. It's a lack of physics"

Our current knowledge of planet building suggests that in order for a planet to form there must be a disk of gas, dust and debris circling the star and the further away from the star, the less material there is. By this knowledge there is now way a planet that size could have formed from such a distant orbit.

Theories of how this planet could be there include it drifted into orbit from a neighbouring system, or that it is actually a failed star, but this is unlikely as it shouldn't have survived the young stars birthing process.

Scientists will continue to study this enigma in the hope of finding an answer to the impossible planet.

This search for Extraterrestrial life continues to gather pace and NASA claims that within 2-3 years we will be able to see planets outside of our solar system that have the rights signs of supporting life by the advances made to the Kepler Telescope and the power of the light gathering James Webb telescope.

Discovery news has also announced that the most likely planet will orbit a Red Dwarf star within 100 light years of Earth due to the abundance of Red Dwarf stars and due to the dimness of those stars they would also be easier to measure and monitor.

The only drawback to this theory is that red dwarf stars tend to be more unpredictable than their hotter relatives and as such massive solar flares could wipe out any lifeforms on orbiting planets.

Noted physicist Stephen Hawkin recently commented that contacting an alien civilisation may in fact be a really bad idea since any civilisation advanced enough to travel across the stars would be so far beyond our own technological level it would like the Europeans landing on American soil and meeting the natives (and that didn't go very well for the natives). This then raises the question as should we even be looking and sending out radio signals as we are today?