Look Up in The Sky? It’s a bird, It’s a plane… Could it be a UFO? Alien sightings are a thrill, but are they part of a legend or have we truly been visited by extraterrestrial beings? Such questions have baffled scientists for centuries now. Developing technologies have made it possible for us to step out of our planet and venture into those nearby to look for life.
Here are a few celestial bodies we have discovered, that have shown signs of life:
Ross 128B – A newly discovered exoplanet only 11 light-years away, Ross 128B is about the same size as Earth with similar surface temperature. It is also the second closest planet to our solar system. The similar temperate climate and favorable conditions make it a habitable surface implying that it could support life in the future.
Proxima B – The closest exoplanet to Earth, Proxima B is within habitable distance from it’s star. Just like our planet, the distance from the star effects it surface temperature and nature of the planet. Suitable temperatures mean that there could be water on the planet in some form. Its distance from our planet has given hope to astronomers who are planning to send robotic expeditions to the planet.
Europa – The gas giant Jupiter is uninhabitable, but its icy moon has shown more promise. Europa has a layered structure just like Earth: an iron-rich core, a rocky mantle and a crust of ice. Magnetic field measurements found an electric current inside, which sets in motion all elements on the satellite. There is also a salty liquid ocean beneath the thick crust of ice around the whole planet. There is also a source of heat that is caused by friction from being pulled towards Jupiter.
Mars – Our favourite extraterrestrial planet – though it is now surrounded by toxic gases, signs of water at the planet’s poles show that life may exist on Mars or may have existed several millennial ago as the water has now turned to ice. No wonder there are movies and tales and science fiction books written on aliens visiting us from our closest neighbor Mars. Hopefully man will be able to step foot on the planet himself to find out if we have neighbors living there.
Enceladus – This Saturnian moon is icy and has been spurting liquid water into space due to tidal heating. And as we know, where there is liquid water, there is life. What is most surprising about the planet is that the temperatures on the surface are yet not suited for life, but the frozen ice may have been in the form of liquid water with life sustaining minerals millions of years ago. We wonder what stories these bodies may have to tell us about who lived on them or might still be living, just hidden from the human eyes and technology.
UFO Sightings around the planet
The Roswell Incident – Often referred to as the mother of all UFO sightings. July 1947, Rancher Mac brazel woke up one morning to find some unusual items in his sheep ranch. A jumble of metallic sticks, chunks of plastic and foil reflectors and pieces of heavy, smooth and glossy, paper-like material. The Roswell Army Air Force base got in armed men who shortly whisked away the materials in heavily armoured trucks without speaking a word to anybody. Though the Air Force brushed aside rumours of the parts having been from a crashed weather balloon, onlookers and researchers who saw them were quite sure bodies like these had never been seen before.
The Rendheslam Forest Incident – An incident with credible witnesses from the United States Air Force and security personnel, this incident is regarded as the best documented UFO sighting ever.In late December 1980, there were multiple reports of unexplained lights near the forest. Security patrol and servicemen reported seeing lights descend from the sky into the forest. On approaching the forest to investigate the matter, officials saw a metallic object, with coloured lights moving through the forest and eventually causing a frenzy in the nearby farms.
If there is life beyond Earth – are they smarter than us? Have they visited us already or do they plan to visit us in the future? The theories and findings are endless but alleged UFO sightings over the years are the most intriguing theories on aliens.
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Ankita Dutta is a STORYWEAVER at BYJU’S. Avid reader and writer by day, a classical singer by night, Harry Potter nerd, a film aficionado, and the classroom joker in her yesteryear. Ankita believes that words can influence to a point where they change personalities and ideologies. Wish to contact her about intriguing debates, writing trends and stories? Drop in a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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