Since the dawn of time, space has fascinated every human being. We can’t help but wonder what lies in the boundless extent hundreds and thousands of miles away from Earth. Well, not what, but who. For whatever reason, it seems impossible to us that we are the only intelligent life in the universe. There simply has to be someone else out there.
Of course, our natural curiosity has produced countless space conspiracy theories. They exist so we could make sense of the unknown and explain phenomena that leave us all confused. Yet, we’re still searching for answers after all this time.
But, we’re not only seeking explanations.
While exploring space, astronauts are on the lookout for some signs of extraterrestrial life.
In the search for life beyond Earth, we have sent robots to Mars, launched spacecraft to investigate Jupiter and Saturn’s moons, and looked at distant solar systems with our powerful telescopes.
All of these efforts have had a significant impact on various space programs. They taught us a thing or two about the universe and prepared us for further exploration. Additionally, some of them found signs of extraterrestrial life that hint at the possibility that we aren’t, after all, alone.
In this article, we’ll take a look at those signs and leave it to you to reach your own conclusions.
Two Viking Landers Detected Signs of Microbial Life on Mars
Back in 1976, NASA sent two space probes, Viking 1 and 2, to the Red Planet. The agency wanted to determine whether life existed on Mars. For this reason, the probes conducted three experiments during the course of the mission. One of those experiments was called the Labeled Release (LR) apparatus.
In the LR experiment, the Viking landers collected samples of Martian soil which they subsequently injected with dilute nutrient solution. Then, they zeroed in on the air above those samples, looking for signs of metabolic byproducts.
The results came back positive. Much to their surprise, scientists were able to conclude that the production of radioactive methane indicated that something in the soil was producing radioactive gas.
However, other experiments could not find any evidence of life. As a consequence, NASA declared the above-mentioned results a false positive.
Nevertheless, some scientists who have examined the data once again still believe that the LR experiment found signs of extraterrestrial life. Allegedly, the other two experiments were ill-equipped, thus unable to search for signs of the organic molecules.
An Ohio State University Radio Telescope Picks Up the “Wow” Signal
One year after the Vikind landers’ significant findings, the scientific world was surprised once again. Namely, an Ohio State University radio telescope received an unusual signal in 1977. The signal appeared to come from a place near the constellation Sagittarius.
Furthermore, astronomer Jerry R. Ehman was the person who discovered the anomaly while reviewing the data. Impressed by the result, he wrote the word “Wow!” on the printout. This is where the event’s name comes from.
This blast of radio waves lasted for 72 seconds and Big Ear, the University’s telescope, was able to track it down. However, the signal has not been detected ever since 1977, although many have tried to find it.
Were these signs of extraterrestrial life we’re all looking for? Some theories propose the signal was a result of a massive astronomical event. Others hypothesize that intelligent aliens created it to draw our attention to them.
However, the signal is still unexplained.
Microbial Fossils Found in a Martian Meteorite in Antarctica
A fragment of a Martian meteorite was discovered in Antarctica in 1984. Experts believe that the meteorite fell off the surface of the Red Planet during a collision, after which it plummeted to the continent. A team of American meteorite hunters found it there, but it would take another 12 years for the world to hear about it.
Namely, a group of scientists said they found signs of extraterrestrial life while researching the meteorite. Careful analysis revealed microscopic fossils of bacteria in the rock which indicated that these organisms also came from Mars. These claims made headlines quickly, and other experts tried to make sense of the meteorite.
Over the years, the scientific community rejected the claims, explaining how all the unusual features of the rock could have been formed without requiring life to be present. Nevertheless, there are those who still believe that this Martian meteorite bore signs of extraterrestrial life.
The SETI Project Discovers a Mysterious Radio Signal
In 2003, another signal was picked up which suggested that scientists might have found more signs of extraterrestrial life. Specifically, astronomers involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project used a telescope in Puerto Rico to investigate 200 sections of the sky. They focused on these sections because they had previously sent out unexplained radio signals. Strangely enough, all signals disappeared, but one remained.
What’s more, the signal came from an area located between the constellations Pisces and Aries. Curiously, no stars are observed within 1000 light years from Earth in this direction. Also, scientists observed the source three times, noting it had various puzzling features. For instance, its frequency has a rapid drift. Some believe this indicates that aliens are sending the signal.
Still, there is a chance that the source comes from a never-before-seen natural phenomenon.
What do you think? Are there signs of extraterrestrial life in all of these findings? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section!