Tags: philae | lander | comet | alien | life

Philae Lander Discovers That Comet Could Be Home to Alien Life

By    |   Monday, 06 July 2015 01:23 PM

The Philae lander may be resting on a comet that is teeming with extraterrestrial microbial life under its icy surface, according to two astronomers.

The solar-power lander successfully arrived on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet on Nov. 12 of last year before losing contact with Earth 60 hours later due to an extremely shady environment, according to ABC News. Philae awoke and reestablished contact last month as the comet moved closer towards the sun.

Although the rubber-duck-shaped comet sports a barren black crust across most of its surface, several features indicate that icy seas and craters beneath the surface contain organic materials that could support living microorganisms, according to ABC News.

The astronomers, professor Chandra Wickramasinghe and Dr. Max Wallis, have suggested that the comet is more hospitable to “extremophile” life than the Polar Regions on Earth, according to the Daily Mail. Wickramasinghe also noted that Philae confirmed the presence of “ring and linear chain” organic molecules on the comet’s surface that were allegedly more complex than simple hydrocarbons and could possibly represent amino acids.

“'What we're saying is that data coming from the comet seems to unequivocally, in my opinion, point to micro-organisms being involved in the formation of the icy structures, the preponderance of aromatic hydrocarbons, and the very dark surface” Wickramasinghe said, according to the Daily Mail. “These are not easily explained in terms of pre-biotic chemistry.”

The Rosetta spacecraft upon which Philae hitched a ride to the comet, also found organic particle clusters in the gases surrounding the comet that resembled viral particles that have been collected from the Earth’s upper atmosphere, according to the Daily Mail.
 
“Rosetta has already shown that the comet is not to be seen as a deep-frozen inactive body, but supports geological processes and could be more hospitable to micro-life than our Arctic and Antarctic regions,” Wallis said, according to The Independent.

The two astronomers plan to present their case arguing for the existence of alien life on the comet at the upcoming Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Wales this week.

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The Philae lander may be resting on a comet that is teeming with extraterrestrial microbial life under its icy surface, according to two astronomers.
philae, lander, comet, alien, life
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2015-23-06
Monday, 06 July 2015 01:23 PM
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