Sunday, 30 January 2011
Harvard Astrophysicist: Alien Life Might Not Exist
Many exoplanets are hot Jupiters. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle.
For a long time many astronomers have assumed that the universe is teeming with Earth-like planets that must harbour life.
Not all experts share this view, however. Recently, Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard University, said that we might be alone in the cosmos. Although 500 exoplanets have already been discovered, none of them resemble Earth. Smith suggests that Earth is unique.
Exoplanets differ from Earth in many ways. Most are hot super-earths that orbit very close to their star.
Dr. Smith says that many astronomers were thrilled by the discovery of the planet HD10180 as they assumed that it was very much like the Earth. But the more they examined it, the more obvious it became that there are enormous differences. HD10180 orbits its sun at a distance of under two million kilometres and is scorching hot (like many other exoplanets).
No wonder Dr. Smith is sceptical of finding life in outer space.
The Bible does not say anything about extraterrestrial life. In contrast, those who believe in Darwinian evolution assume that the universe is teeming with life.
Blake, Heidi. 2011. Alien life deemed impossible by analysis of 500 planets. The Telegraph (23 January).