Thoughts & Insights

Life in Outer Space – Between Science and Fiction

The planetary landscapes in the expanses of the universe, with their cold deserts, gigantic methane lakes, oceans hidden under ice, and much more that we cannot yet even image today, will still astonish us.

The more we learn about the aforementioned, the more amazed we will be. Astrophysicists predict that the Kepler-Super-Telescope will be able to identify several inhabitable areas and planets in space, in the foreseeable future.

There are meanwhile scientific disciplines like astrobiology, which are able to deduce possible forms of existence in the universe from investigating so-called extremophile organisms on earth. Extremophiles are organisms that require, for example, neither light nor oxygen to live, such as the microorganisms that live at a temperature of minus 56 degrees Celsius two meters below the surface of the earth in the Antarctic. Or like the thermophile microorganisms that are able to survive even in the hottest waters of the Yellowstone National Park. It is quite possible that organisms of this kind could exist under similarly extreme conditions in outer space.

According to the most recent findings, on the Earth’s sister planet Venus, even with its temperature of 460 degrees Celsius, surrounded by sulfur vapors, there could incredibly be an acidophile life form: microorganisms that eat iron sulfide. They metabolize the iron from this compound and excrete the sulfide again. These kinds of organisms have already been discovered in Californian mines with heavily sulfurous water.

I would be very interested in hearing the thoughts of a person who investigates the existence of extraterrestrial life, in an Encounter with a picture by OUBEY. I will try to find a scientist like this and win him or her for an Encounter.