DID YOU KNOW? Alien Life May Be Rare Across The Universe - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

DID YOU KNOW? Alien Life May Be Rare Across The Universe

Posted: Updated:

YAHOO.COM - When it comes to life across the cosmos, the universe might just be an "awful waste of space" after all.

A new theory presented at a conference this week would confirm the worry of Ellie Arroway, Jodie Foster's character in the film "Contact," that life might not exist on other worlds.

Some scientists think that just because exoplanets could have habitable environments, that does not mean that life evolved there.

"The pervasive nature of life on Earth is leading us to make this assumption," Charles Cockell, the director of the U.K. Center for Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh, said in a statement."On our planet, carbon leaches into most habitat space and provides energy for microorganisms to live. There are only a few vacant habitats that may persist for any length of time on Earth, but we cannot assume that this is the case on other planets."

Cockell's hypothesis states that, although habitable alien planets might abound in solar systems around the universe, it does not mean these locales harbor extraterrestrial life.

"It is dangerous to assume life is common across the universe. It encourages people to think that not finding signs of life is a 'failure,' when in fact it would tell us a lot about the origins of life," added Cockell.

It is also possible that scientists will not be able to detect alien signs of life, even if it exists, Cockell said. Life might be markedly dissimilar from planet to planet, making it unlikely that astronomers on Earth will see recognizable signatures of life. But not all hope is lost.

"Professor Cockell explains that in coming decades, increasingly powerful telescopes and developments in spectroscopy may allow us to look for the signals of life on planets beyond our solar system," officials from the Royal Society, the United Kingdom's national academy of science, said in a statement."However, regardless of this, our view is still going to be heavily influenced by our knowledge of life on Earth."

Cockell presented his theory at a conference sponsored by the Royal Society.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Botulism outbreak seems limited to 1 nacho cheese bag

    Botulism outbreak seems limited to 1 nacho cheese bag

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:52 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:52:51 GMT

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on a botulism outbreak linked to nacho-cheese dip sold at a California gas station (all times local):   4:35 p.m.  California health officials said a botulism outbreak linked to nacho-cheese sauce appears limited to an opened bag of the sauce.  The statement on Thursday comes after the state Department of Public Health found no traces of the toxin in another unopened bag of the sauce that was seized from the fue...

    More >>

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on a botulism outbreak linked to nacho-cheese dip sold at a California gas station (all times local):   4:35 p.m.  California health officials said a botulism outbreak linked to nacho-cheese sauce appears limited to an opened bag of the sauce.  The statement on Thursday comes after the state Department of Public Health found no traces of the toxin in another unopened bag of the sauce that was seized from the fue...

    More >>
  • President Trump to take travel ban to Supreme Court

    President Trump to take travel ban to Supreme Court

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:38 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:38:02 GMT

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Latest on an appeals court ruling against the Trump administration's travel ban (all times local):   5:40 p.m.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled 10-3 against the travel ban. The decision bars the administration from suspending n...

    More >>

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Latest on an appeals court ruling against the Trump administration's travel ban (all times local):   5:40 p.m.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled 10-3 against the travel ban. The decision bars the administration from suspending n...

    More >>
  • Service dog scores photo in high school yearbook

    Service dog scores photo in high school yearbook

    Thursday, May 25 2017 8:23 PM EDT2017-05-26 00:23:47 GMT
    Courtesy NBC NewsCourtesy NBC News

    STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. - They say dog is man's best friend. AJ and his service dog Alpha take it to a new extreme. The Virginia high school student who attends classes with his service dog found himself side-by-side with his canine in the school's yearbook photos.  Much of AJ Schalk's morning routine involves his service dog who's become a beloved companion everyday... all day. Aj goes about getting himself and Alpha ready to 

    More >>

    STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. - They say dog is man's best friend. AJ and his service dog Alpha take it to a new extreme. The Virginia high school student who attends classes with his service dog found himself side-by-side with his canine in the school's yearbook photos.  Much of AJ Schalk's morning routine involves his service dog who's become a beloved companion everyday... all day. Aj goes about getting himself and Alpha ready to 

    More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Botulism outbreak seems limited to 1 nacho cheese bag

    Botulism outbreak seems limited to 1 nacho cheese bag

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:52 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:52:51 GMT

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on a botulism outbreak linked to nacho-cheese dip sold at a California gas station (all times local):   4:35 p.m.  California health officials said a botulism outbreak linked to nacho-cheese sauce appears limited to an opened bag of the sauce.  The statement on Thursday comes after the state Department of Public Health found no traces of the toxin in another unopened bag of the sauce that was seized from the fue...

    More >>

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on a botulism outbreak linked to nacho-cheese dip sold at a California gas station (all times local):   4:35 p.m.  California health officials said a botulism outbreak linked to nacho-cheese sauce appears limited to an opened bag of the sauce.  The statement on Thursday comes after the state Department of Public Health found no traces of the toxin in another unopened bag of the sauce that was seized from the fue...

    More >>
  • The Latest: Polls closing in Montana

    The Latest: Polls closing in Montana

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:45 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:45:59 GMT

    BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on the misdemeanor assault case against Greg Gianforte, a Republican candidate for a Montana congressional seat in a special election Thursday. (all times local): 8:03 p.m. Montana polls are closing, a day after Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was charged with assaulting a reporter. Witnesses say Gianforte, a wealthy technology executive, grabbed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, by the neck on We...

    More >>

    BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on the misdemeanor assault case against Greg Gianforte, a Republican candidate for a Montana congressional seat in a special election Thursday. (all times local): 8:03 p.m. Montana polls are closing, a day after Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was charged with assaulting a reporter. Witnesses say Gianforte, a wealthy technology executive, grabbed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, by the neck on We...

    More >>
  • President Trump to take travel ban to Supreme Court

    President Trump to take travel ban to Supreme Court

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:38 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:38:02 GMT

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Latest on an appeals court ruling against the Trump administration's travel ban (all times local):   5:40 p.m.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled 10-3 against the travel ban. The decision bars the administration from suspending n...

    More >>

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Latest on an appeals court ruling against the Trump administration's travel ban (all times local):   5:40 p.m.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled 10-3 against the travel ban. The decision bars the administration from suspending n...

    More >>