WHO'S THERE? ONE HUNDRED LIGHT YEARS AWAY.
“For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
“It is possible that the future of human civilization depends on the receipt of interstellar messages.” -Carl Sagan.
Are we left alone to defend ourselves in this mortal paradise called earth? Could intelligent life be living on other planets? At the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting in December 2022, planetary scientist Yasuhito Sekine reported that phosphorus could abound in the underground ocean of Saturn's icy moon, Enceladus. He believes the concentration maybe thousands of times greater than in Earth’s ocean. Phosphate is the backbone of nucleic acids and provides structural support to the DNA and RNA molecules. It is a significant nutrient to life on Earth. Enceladus has most of the elements essential for life, such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur, and is prosperous. “Enceladus now appears to meet all of the criteria for a habitable ocean,” says Morgan Cable, an astrobiologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. However, scientists have also discovered the presence of warm water vents in the Enceladus that they believe could provide an energy source for microbial life.
LET US PONDER
Could life exist in other places? Astronomers estimate that there are anywhere from 300 million to 400 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way. The likelihood of one of these planets harboring life that requires energy, oxygen, and water is highly questionable. However, recently, two potentially habitable Earth-type planets have been discovered that revolve around the star GJ 1002 near the Sun. They are in the habitability zone of the star. Recently, stargazers discovered a planet, LP 890-9c (renamed SPECULOOS*-2c by the ULiège researchers), which is 100 light years away. It is 40% larger than Earth and takes 8.5 days to orbit its sun.
Life depends on three essential ingredients: water, energy, and oxygen (We breathe molecular oxygen, two oxygen atoms connected through a double bond), and life on earth rely on carbon. Though the Bible is not very clear about extraterrestrial human life, Rev Billy Graham said, “I firmly believe there are intelligent beings like us far away in space who worship God. But we have nothing to fear from these people. Like us, they are God’s creation.” (as quoted by Ted Peters in “Science, Theology, and Ethics). Even if simple or intelligent life exists outside the earth, the probability of "human" life is unlikely, because Jesus Christ came to the earth to save the fallen human race, not to any other planet. Adam’s fall affected the entire creation. “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Romans 8:22
SPECULOOS = (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars)