Since the beginning of the space exploration, or even before that, we have always asked the question “are we alone”, with the lack of any evidence, outside of what people wearing tin foil hats say, we fill the void with stories and movies about hostile invaders or somewhat peaceful close encounters in the near or far future. But recently we have been searching for other planets like our own that may harbor life… at first it was all gas giants and planets with probably too extreme of conditions to ever harbor life, but after a while we started seeing planets which was more possible of harboring life.
We first thought of the ingredients of life to be simply the following, an atmosphere, water, and distance just the right amount from the sun. But as time goes on the requirements started to increase, from a number that you can count with your hands into a long lists of requirements which includes the right planet size.
The most recent discovery of a possible earthlike planet was made earlier this year, without actually being able to see it, due to the limitations of our telescopes even in space, we were still able to determine some of its properties through the use of over tools. It looks as if that the planet is quite close to the size of earth, and is at the right distance from its star, right at the ‘Goldilocks zone’. This planet was also found at one of our nearest neighbor, the details of this has been covered by a lot of news outlets and seems unnecessary to state what they have already talked about countless times.
Though said planet is currently the one most likely to hold life, there are several other planets that is considered to plausibly have the ability to harbor life. Most researchers and enthusiast always think about these planets as our next home, places to one day colonize. But would we really be just colonizing these planets or outright conquering it. These planets are not merely targets for exploration and human expansion… these planets might actually mean that we are not alone.
The Fermi paradox tells asks where everybody in the universe is, given the age of the universe and the likelihood of planets developing intelligent life forms that would have at least reach our level of technology, there should be some sort of sign that life is or at least was in the universe before. But then again, we haven’t really looked anywhere except our own solar system, and not even that thoroughly too. These planets might hold the ruins, or if we are lucky the living civilization the paradox was talking about.
We have yet to truly explore our own solar system, which only has one truly habitable planet, possibly two if we work on Mars, much less have we explored the universe. The Fermi paradox has a really good point, but not seeing evidence of ancient alien civilization here does not mean can’t be found anywhere. Whether life is sustainable on those earthlike planets or not, they can still possibly tell us if there was once life other than us in the universe.