Extraterrestrial Facts

  • Extraterrestrial (ET) means ‘outside the Earth’.
  • Some scientists say that ET life could develop anywhere in the Universe where there is a flow of energy.
  • One extreme idea is that space clouds could become sentient (thinking) beings.
  • Most scientists believe that if there is ET life anywhere in the Universe, it must be based on the chemistry of carbon, as life on Earth is.
  • If civilizations like ours exist elsewhere, they may be on planets circling other stars. This is why the discovery of other planetary systems is so exciting (see planets).
  • The Drake Equation was proposed by astronomer Frank Drake to work out how many civilizations there could be in our galaxy — and the figure is millions!
  • There is no scientific proof that any ET life form has ever visited the Earth.
  • SETI is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — the programme that analyzes radio signals from space for signs of intelligent life.
  • The Arecibo radio telescope beams out signals to distant stars.