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The Life Out There

Ever since Galileo expanded our vision of the cosmos human beings have gazed and wondered if life can survive elsewhere in the universe. According to a recent article from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics it seems such musings are no longer limited to the shelves of science fiction or the speculations of theorists. A new technology utilizing radiation imaging has led to the discovery of complex organic molecules necessary for the evolution of life in a newly forming solar system 455 light years away.

This discovery marks a momentous turning point of understanding: we know now that the chemistry of life is not unique to us and that it could possibly be repeated throughout the universe. Compounds such as those found around the star MWC 480 are seeming to thrive in the tumult of materialization and, as is the theory regarding our own planet’s origins, can trigger development of life by bombarding planetoids, depositing organic elements. The observable universe covers an expanse of twenty-eight billion light years in diameter. This suggests that there’s at least a possible six billion developing star systems containing chemical building blocks, surrounded by developing planets.


Though we may still be a long way off from discovering any form of alien life, it’s becoming clear that ignorance of its possibility is short-sighted and detrimental to the expansion of our understanding the natural condition in which we all live. Sergio Cortes feels like a discovery is right around the corner.

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