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Results tagged “life” from Sunday Mercury - Weird Science

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ET may not be calling any time soon, according to an expert who claims belief in a universe teeming with life is misplaced.

Professor Charles Cockell argues that Earth may be a lonelier place than is popularly thought. This is despite recent discoveries of a plethora of distant solar systems and potentially habitable planets.

On Earth, living organisms fill just about every environment capable of supporting them.
This leaves the wrong impression that life is bound to arise anywhere it can, says Prof Cockell.

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Earth could have many billions of twins strewn across the Milky Way, a study suggests.
Astronomers estimate that at least 17 billion stars in our galaxy harbour an Earth-sized planet.

This may be a small proportion of the true figure, since it only includes hot worlds that hug their parent stars closely and are easy to detect.

As more data is gathered scientists expect to find more rocky Earth-sized planets in wider orbits.

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Moons like the one depicted in the film Avatar may be among the most common places to find alien life, scientists believe.

Astronomers came to the conclusion after identifying up to 15 new planets orbiting the life-friendly "habitable zones" of stars.

All are giant gaseous worlds similar in size to Jupiter or Neptune.

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It resembles an other-worldly alien from a sci-fi movie and has a name to match.

But real-life scientists created the multi-limbed "Medusoid" which swims with the help of pulsating rat heart cells.

The artificial creature, measuring several centimetres across, is made of transparent elastic silicone.

What conditions are scientists looking for in their search for life on another planet? The presence of water is key, explains Bill Nye, aka The Science Guy.

Authors

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith - a long time ago, in a galaxy far away just north of Watford, Daniel fancied himself as a scientist but turned out to be the worst scientist since that bloke who mapped out all those canals on Mars that turned out to be scratches on his telescope's lens. Luckily, he is now not working on the Large Hadron Collider inadvertently creating a black hole that would swallow the world but is safely behind a desk writing this blog, bringing you the fantastical underbelly of nature... weird science.

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