Home / Articles / Extraterrestrial Life / MIT scientist encourages a broader search for extraterrestrial life
(Credit: PHL @ UPR Arecibo, ESA/Hubble, NASA
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(Credit: PHL @ UPR Arecibo, ESA/Hubble, NASA )

MIT scientist encourages a broader search for extraterrestrial life

Image credit: PHL @ UPR Arecibo, ESA/Hubble, NASA

Astrobiologists typically target Earth-like planets in the search for extraterrestrial life. But one scientist is encouraging a broader search.

Professor Sara Seager. (Credit: MIT/Justin Knight)

Professor Sara Seager. (Credit: MIT)

MIT astrophysicist Sara Seager believes the narrow search by researchers will bypass many potentially habitable worlds. Space.com explains Seager’s point that, “While it may seem natural to zero in on ‘alien Earths,’ such a narrow focus would exclude many potentially life-supporting exoplanets, whose diversity continues to astound astronomers.” Most of the current efforts looking for alien life seek out Earth-like planets because those worlds are more likely to support life as we know it. But as Seager explains to Space.com, “The number of planets that we’re going to be able to see in our lifetime — and look at their atmospheres for signs of life — is so small that we’re forced to be open-minded.”

Cover of the special Exoplanets issue of Science. (Credit: Science)

Cover of the special Exoplanets issue of Science. (Credit: Science)

Seager believes that a more open-minded approach, paired with a better understanding of exoplanet habitability is essential to the search for extraterrestrial life. Studying atmospheres of potentially habitable worlds is crucial in the effort to gain a better understanding of exoplanets. And fortunately, NASA is launching a new tool designed to do just that. The James Webb Space Telescope is launching in 2018, and it will be able to analyze the atmospheres of exoplanets and search for signs of life.

Seager’s ideas about exoplanet habitability were just published in an article in a special exoplanet issue of the journal Science. And her hope is that this article “gets people to realize that so many types of worlds could be habitable, and that our chance of finding one is higher when we accept that.”

About Jason McClellan

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Jason McClellan is an editor and staff writer for Open Minds magazine. Jason is also the producer and co-host of the web series Spacing Out!, web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook at Facebook.com/jason.openminds

2 comments

  1. avatar

    Frankly, I can’t think of a more momentous, life changing experience than what we could experience if we chose to believe what we will be discussing with our guest today, Dr. Steven Greer. Dr. Greer has been working for over 20 years to bring credible, scientific research surrounding extraterrestrial life forms and their influence to light. Dr. Greer left his career as a medical emergency physician, to address an emergency that is a detriment to the knowledge of the global population.

  2. avatar

    The revelation of “alien” space craft is part of a graduated introduction of the technology into the cultural psyche of the USA and the world at large.

    The space craft is not alien. It is experimental USA aerial craft developed by USA and discovered by the public through a series of mishaps.

    The alleged finding of alien humanoids is not the discovery of inhabitants who have come to earth, but rather genetically engineered humanoids from earth.

    Government funded clandestine experiments have developed humanoids who can endure the extremes of space exploration through the experimental space craft developed by the US government. These humanoids were manufactured at a point in time when it was surmised that such specimen would be free, by definition, of human and civil rights of their own.

    The humanoids that have been genetically engineered were manufactured by technologies retrieved from the expatriated scientists of post German Nationalist Socialist Party, following WWII.

    These findings of aliens and space craft are not extraterrestrials in space craft, but genetically earthling humanoids designed to man the time travel devices that use high vibration field manipulation, high velocity and space bending as a means to explore the region surrounding earth within this solar system.

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