A leading astronomer has said that we are utterly alone in the universe.
The claim that there is no other form of life in the universe is likely to upset pro-alien theorists and those who dream of an encounter with an intelligent being from another planet.
“We have found that most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own,” Dr. Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard University, said in an interview with The Daily Mail
, a British newspaper.
Astronomers have so far found a total of 500 planets in distant solar systems and believe billions of others exist.
However, Smith said that many of these planets are either too close to their sun or too far away, which means their surface temperatures would not support life. He further noted that other planets have unusual orbits that cause vast temperature variations making it impossible for water to exist as a liquid.
“There are very few solar systems or planets like ours. It means it is highly unlikely there are any planets with intelligent life close enough for us to make contact,” said Smith.
Stephen Hawking, however, has previously said the fact there are billions of galaxies out there makes it perfectly rational to assume there are other life forms in the universe. And researchers from the University of London recently suggested that aliens could be living on as many as 40,000 other planets.
By Moon Ye-bin (email@example.com)
Edited by John Power
행성들이 계속 발견되고 있으나 외계 생물체가 존재할 가능성은 여전히 낮다고 한 외신이 보도했다.
하버드 대학교 천체물리학자 하워드 스미스 교수는 “우리 인류가 우주에서 유일한 생명체일 가능성이 높다”라고 밝혔다.
스미스 교수는 지금까지 발견된 외계행성은 약 500개 정도이지만 이 행성들은 스스로 빛을 내는 항성과 너무 가깝거나 멀어서 표면의 온도가 생명체가 살기에는 극단적으로 희박하다고 주장하고 있으며, 또 “공전궤도가 일정하지 않고 온도차이가 커서 액체로 된 물이 존재하기는 힘들다”라고 말했다.
한편 세계적인 우주학자 스티븐 호킹 박사는 “우주에는 셀 수 없이 많은 행성들이 존재하는데 지구에만 생명체가 존재할 가능성은 매우 낮다”라고 말해 외계인의 존재 가능성을 제기했었다.