A Series of mission to the moons of jupiter and saturn have revealed their potential to harbour life. Scientists are using telescopes and space probes to study Mars, Europa and Enceladus to look for any signs of life such as liquid water and organic compounds. ~ Current NewsWhile there is no guarantee that the Copernican principle (the sun positioned in the center of the universe) is correct for all scientific discoveries to come, we come to the realization that not only is Earth not in the center of the solar system. But the solar system is not in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. And the Milky Way galaxy is not in the center of the universe. And in case you are one of those people who thinks that the edge may be a special place, then we are also not at the edge of anything either.It’d be wise to assume that life on earth is not immune to the Copernican principle. Knowing this then one may wonder how life on earth can provides clues as to what life may be like elsewhere. The diversity of life on this planet is astonishing. On this planet there coexist algae, beetles, sponges, jellyfish, and snakes among countless other life forms. Picture all five of these organisms lined up, if you didn’t know any better it’d be hard to believe these animals all came from the same planet. Imagine describing one of these animals to someone who has never seen one. They would seem alien like.Therefore the classic hollywood alien that looks similar to humans is highly unlikely. If anything is certain if life forms from other planets they should look as exotic as some of earth’s life forms.The chemical composition of Earth-based life is primarily made up of a select few ingredients. The elements hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon make up over 90 % of the atom found in a human body as well as other known life. The chemical structure of carbon allows it to bond strongly and readily with it itself and other elements in many different ways. Resulting in carbon based life (the study of molecules containing carbon called “organic” Chemistry. The Copernican principle suggests life isn’t chemically special. In fact Aliens would need to not look like us in order to resemble us in more fundamental ways. We know the four most common elements in the universe are carbon, hydrogen, helium, and oxygen. Due to the fact helium is inert the three most abundant ingredients in the cosmos are also the top three ingredients in life on earth. For this reason we can hypothesize that if there were life on other planes it would be made up of a similar combination of elements. On the other hand if life on earth was made up of things such as plutonium or bismuth then we would have reason to believe we were something unlike anything else.Appealing once again to the Copernican principle, we can predict alien life forms would not be ridiculously large compared to life as we know it. There are also structural reasons that we would not expect to see life the size of the Eiffel Tower walking around a planet. But if we ignore these reasonable engineering limitations of biological matter we discover a more a more fundamental limit. Assuming an alien has control of its own body pr functions as a system, than the size would ultimately be constrained by its ability to send signals within itself which is restricted by the speed of light (fastest speed allowed by the universe). For an extreme example of alien the size of an entire solar system and if it wanted to scratch its nose, this simple act would take no less than 10 hours. Sub-slothlike behavior such as this would be self-limiting because the time since the beginning of the universe may be insufficient for the creature to have evolved from smaller forms of life over many generations. The next step agreed upon by many is to determine which of the known exoplanets are proper candidate for life… Through chemistry related theories, studies, and discoveries. We are able to create laws that most likely reign true for life outside of what we know. Obvious similarities in fundamental parts of life allows for us to make well educated guesses and inferences of what other life would be like. Some laws the study of chemistry has created:Avogadro’s Law- Equal volumes of gases under identical temperature and pressure conditions will contain equal number of particlesBoyle’s Law- At constant temperature, the volume of a combined gas is inversely proportional to pressure to which it is subjected.Charles Law- At constant pressure, the volume of a confined gas is directly proportional to the absolute temperature All of these laws have been proven true for all life that we know of, research and laws just like these give us the bases for determining the unknown. It’s insane to think we can know so much about something that we don’t actually know just through the study of things we do know. Chemistry goes into the most basic parts of life that we predict is similar to the same parts of life for other life forms. In conclusion chemistry points us into the right direction to discover extraordinary things that some may find shocking. While chemists just find it to be normal for the universe we live in.
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