in­spir­ing space ex­plo­ration

How It Works - - ENVIRONMENT -

For hun­dreds of years hu­mans have been de­bat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­trater­res­tri­als, and more re­cently we’ve started look­ing for signs of life on other plan­ets. Ex­tremophiles – es­pe­cially those able to live with more than one ex­treme fac­tor in their en­vi­ron­ment – live in parts of the planet most like the harsh land­scapes found else­where in the gal­axy and give sci­en­tists an idea of what ex­trater­res­trial or­gan­isms might look. The study of Earth’s tough­est deep­wa­ter crea­tures to help pre­dict what we might one day meet in a dark cor­ner of space was even the fo­cus of a James Cameron film called Aliens of the Deep. Species of extremophile have been dis­cov­ered in dark and oxy­gen-de­prived sub­ter­ranean ecosys­tems in re­cent years, ex­pand­ing the area of a So­lar Sys­tem that could be suit­able for host­ing life and widen­ing the search for proof that we’re not alone in the uni­verse.

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