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The Hunt for Aliens

For decades, science fiction authors and movie directors have tried to capture the idea of aliens. These individuals such as H.G. Wells and James Cameron have depicted aliens as having varying forms. Some of which have a quite humanoid shape, with four limbs and a head, while others have completely other-worldly and exotic forms, all of which are too outrageous to describe. Despite this, aliens in modern culture are all depicted as macroscopic beings, creatures that we can see and interact with. Although these are wonderful ways to stretch our imaginations, many scientists agree that this is most likely far from the truth.

The last sentence probably sounded quite questionable. Believe it or not, astronomers and scientists have begun the search for aliens. The most notable of these groups of astronomers is called SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). SETI searches the universe with radio dishes for any radio signals that may encounter Earth, other than the constant background chatter that consistently permeates throughout our universe.

SETI may be searching for intelligent alien communities; most astrobiologists today believe that the first aliens will be a far cry from the advanced aliens with hovercrafts and ray guns shown in the media, but rather simple micro-organisms. Scientists reason that since life on Earth began with microbes, the same may be true throughout the universe.

Despite the efforts of SETI and other astronomers devoted to such a cause of finding extraterrestrial life, we have found precisely no evidence of life beyond the Earth. However, hope should not be lost. We are still unsure of whether Mars, our neighbor in our own solar system, is or was capable of supporting life. We have barely scratched the surface in exploring life in our own solar system, so hope should not be lost in finding life somewhere in the vast universe.




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