Scientists and astronomers have given the idea some thought. The probability of alien life spreading like seeds in the universe is very high.
From all obvious observation, planet earth alone seems to harbor any signs of life. But now scientists have surmised that within the next 30 years or so, alien life forms may be detected. That is on the nearest star systems.
The probability of this occurrence is very likely. The legitimate question is whether we will be able to answer some questions. That is regarding the alien life forms we will eventually find.
Where did these aliens come from? Were they created out of nothing? Did their seeds spread from far away and reach a place close to us? These and several other queries will baffle scientists once the inevitable occurs.
The process where life travels between stars is called panspermia. And it is something we are familiar with as human beings. Life spreads and flourishes like bubbles in a pot of boiling water. The formation of life forms and culture is something to which we are too close. That is to fully analyze with accuracy. It is like trying to see your nose without a mirror.
"In our theory clusters of life form, grow, and overlap like bubbles in a pot of boiling water," says lead author of the new research, Henry Lin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
The wellsprings of life in the universe remain a mystery. But we are slowly and steadily getting there. The mystery will be solved soon. Life can spread from one planet to another solar system via asteroids and comets. Or it could be relayed by the aliens travelling on a spaceship.
Whether we humans will be able to scan panspermia when it happens is a valid point. The answer happens to be in the form of a resounding affirmative. Life probably occurs in the universe like oases in a desert.
And so we humans think that aliens do not exist at all. The fact of the matter is that they are probably out there but are so far away that detection is a difficulty.
The whole scheme sounds like the spread of bacteria or viruses over a substrate. That is probably how life functions in the universe. It is like distant candles signalling to each other in the darkness of the night.
"Life could spread from host star to host star in a pattern similar to the outbreak of an epidemic. In a sense, the Milky Way galaxy would become infected with pockets of life," explains CfA co-author Avi Loeb.
If within the next generation or so we detect signs of alien life in the universe, we will be analyzing the finding. To find a pattern in it would be our ultimate goal. The panspermia that will be revealed would probably have an origin and a motif to it. It is most likely to show us how life got transferred to specific points in our Milky Way in the first place.
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This research has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.