Say… do you remember British astrophysicist Matt Taylor? He was the guy who helped perform the amazing feat of landing a probe on a comet. Well… it was amazing until people realized he was wearing a shirt with some hot Dungeons & Dragons looking women on it when the camera crews showed up at the laboratory. Then he suddenly became a horrible, War on Women monster who finally had to have the Mayor of London come to his defense.
Yeah… that guy.
Well, as much as the feminist brigade and the SJW might hate Dr. Taylor, he may have accomplished something completely unexpected on top of landing something the size of a pine box derby car on a comet traveling a bazillion miles per hour. It’s not official at this point of course, but now that the lander has woken up again, some of the scientists think they may have found life on the comet. (Preface… this is not a joke.)
Evidence of alien life is “unequivocal” on the comet carrying the Philae probe through space, two leading astronomers have said.
The experts say the most likely explanation for certain features of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, such as its organic-rich black crust, is the presence of living organisms beneath an icy surface.
Rosetta, the European spacecraft orbiting the comet, is also said to have picked up strange “clusters” of organic material that resemble viral particles.
As exciting as it all sounds, there is clearly no unanimity on the subject. Some other scientists from the team can’t rule it out, but they find it unlikely. And even Taylor himself isn’t getting his hopes up.
“I think it is highly unlikely,” said Professor Monica Grady of the Open University who helped design the Ptolemy instrument carried by Philae.
Rosetta project scientist Dr Matt Taylor also dismissed the claims.
“It’s pure speculation,” he said: “I think it is unlikely.”
The problem is that there are no instrument packages on the probe designed to look for life so everyone is just going by what they’re seeing on the cameras. Still, it’s a fascinating idea. We wouldn’t be talking about ET getting ready to phone home here, but rather the existence of extremophiles living just under the surface where the comet is holding water and hydrocarbons. It’s hard to imagine, but we’ve already found some of these tiny critters living in places on and under the Earth where you’d think life had no business existing.
I’m mostly interested in seeing if they can prove this because I think it would pretty much answer one of the great questions in science… or at least as close as we’re going to get any time soon. If there is life on that frozen ball of ice and stone hurtling through the deep freeze of space and being bombarded by constant radiation, then the entire galaxy is probably lousy with life. That’s not to say that much – or any – of it has built rocket ships and radios, but at least at the simple organism level there’s probably life everywhere there’s a solid surface that doesn’t move too fast.
Unfortunately, short of sending yet another probe up there after Philae, it’s hard to see how they are going to prove this either way. Mores’ the pity. We could use some good news for a change.