It was in November when the European Space Agency did an awesome feat when it launched the Rosetta space probe, which was carrying the Philae lander and had the lander settle down on the comet.
Rosetta was the space probe that carried Philae to the comet. It only became active again on June 13, 2015 when it finished recharging its batteries through the solar panels.
Many astrobiologists, however, including the Australian Centre for Astrobiology’s Malcom Walter, refuted the claims of the two scientists from the United Kingdom, saying that there simply was no actual evidence to support the notion that there is extraterrestrial life on comet 67P.
Dr. Max Wallis, also from the University of Cardiff, like Wickramasinghe, says that 67P and other comets like it could play host to living microbes much like the “extremophiles” that dwell in the inhospitable zones of the Earth. It is now about 176.7 million miles from Earth and travelling at more than 73,000 mph.
The scientists in the program conducted computer simulations that show watery regions of the comet could provide a stable and livable environment for certain organisms. The rock has a layer of ice on which a hydrocarbon black crust is present as well as craters containing lakes of frozen water and icy seas filled with organic debris. Wickramasinghe surmises that these micro-organisms might have contributed to the formation of the icy “structures, the preponderance of aromatic hydrocarbons, and the very dark surface”.
He said prebiotic chemistry is not enough to explain the unique features of frozen dust ball.
The science is a little unusual, according to ESA scientist Chandra Wickramasinghe: “The dark material is being constantly replenished as it is boiled off by heat from the Sunday. Something must be doing that at a fairly prolific rate”.
Rosetta also discovered some organic particles in the gases that surround the comet, which are similar to the viral particles in our planet’s upper atmosphere. Planets that can harbour life are really quite abundant in the galaxy, and the next neighbouring system to us is only spitting distance away.
“Five hundred years ago it was a struggle to have people accept that the Earth was not the centre of the universe. It’s deeply ingrained in our scientific culture and it will take a lot of evidence to kick it over”, the astrobiologist argued.