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The Search for Life in the Cosmos

  • Date Submitted: 01/11/2015 01:14 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.5 
  • Words: 1059
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The scientific community is largely in agreement on the fact that life began here on Earth about three and a half billion years ago.   In a universe ruled over largely by entropy, it is inane to say that any set of circumstances could be completely unique.   The primordial constituents of Earth’s atmosphere gave way to the building blocks of life, as could and in all likelihood has happened elsewhere in the vastness of space and time.   Since the dawn of mankind, we have looked to the stars in search of answers, and one question has always been prevalent in our thinking: are we alone?   It is ingrained in our culture, with science-fiction spreading rampantly through the world of novels and television alike.   Such fare as The X-Files and blockbuster movies like the new Star Wars films keep our eyes to the sky.   This search for extraterrestrial life can be a huge waste of resources on our part, but there are many reasons why it can be worthwhile, and many ways to make it more resource efficient.

The first place to look is within our own solar system.   A key aspect of life as we know it is water, so that is the first thing we look for.   On our neighboring planet, Mars, researchers are now finding evidence that water existed or even exists still.   This may not mean little green men, but it could very well mean the existence of microbial life.   Although what we are most interested in would be intelligent life, any life beyond our own planet would be a huge step forward, and Mars seems like the top candidate.   Following the discovery of this evidence, NASA is keen on sending more missions to the red planet, possibly even a manned mission some time in the future.   Another celestial body of great interest to mankind in our own little cosmic neighborhood is Europa, a moon of Jupiter.   Europa’s surface is covered in a layer of water/ice up to one hundred kilometers thick.   Deep beneath the surface the kinetic motion of the core of the moon keeps it warm enough for liquid...

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