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3 moons and a planet that could have alien life | James Green

Is there life beyond Earth
in our solar system? Wow, what a powerful question. You know, as a scientist — planetary scientist — we really didn’t take that
very seriously until recently. Carl Sagan always said, “It takes extraordinary evidence
for extraordinary claims.” And the claims of having life beyond Earth need to be definitive, they need to be loud and they need to be everywhere
for us to be able to believe it. So how do we make this journey? What we decided to do is first look for
those ingredients for life. The ingredients of life are: liquid water — we have to have a solvent, can’t be ice, has to be liquid. We also have to have energy. We also have to have organic material — things that make us up, but also things that we need to consume. So we have to have these elements in environments for long periods of time for us to be able
to be confident that life, in that moment when it starts, can spark and then grow and evolve. Well, I have to tell you
that early in my career, when we looked at those three elements, I didn’t believe
that they were beyond Earth in any length of time
and for any real quantity. Why? We look at the inner planets. Venus is way too hot — it’s got no water. Mars — dry and arid. It’s got no water. And beyond Mars, the water in the solar system
is all frozen. But recent observations
have changed all that. It’s now turning our attention
to the right places for us to take a deeper look and really start to answer
our life question. So when we look out into the solar system, where are the possibilities? We’re concentrating our attention
on four locations. The planet Mars and then three moons of the outer planets: Titan, Europa and small Enceladus. So what about Mars? Let’s go through the evidence. Well, Mars we thought
was initially moon-like: full of craters, arid and a dead world. And so about 15 years ago, we started a series
of missions to go to Mars and see if water existed
on Mars in its past that changed its geology. We ought to be able to notice that. And indeed we started
to be surprised right away. Our higher resolution images
show deltas and river valleys and gulleys that were there in the past. And in fact, Curiosity — which has been roving on the surface
now for about three years — has really shown us that it’s sitting
in an ancient river bed, where water flowed rapidly. And not for a little while, perhaps hundreds of millions of years. And if everything was there, including organics, perhaps life had started. Curiosity has also
drilled in that red soil and brought up other material. And we were really excited
when we saw that. Because it wasn’t red Mars, it was gray material, it’s gray Mars. We brought it into the rover, we tasted it, and guess what? We tasted organics — carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur — they were all there. So Mars in its past, with a lot of water, perhaps plenty of time, could have had life, could have had that spark, could have grown. And is that life still there? We don’t know that. But a few years ago we started to look at a number of craters. During the summer, dark lines would appear
down the sides of these craters. The more we looked, the more craters we saw, the more of these features. We now know more than a dozen of them. A few months ago the fairy tale came true. We announced to the world
that we know what these streaks are. It’s liquid water. These craters are weeping
during the summer. Liquid water is flowing
down these craters. So what are we going to do now — now that we see the water? Well, it tells us that Mars has
all the ingredients necessary for life. In its past it had perhaps
two-thirds of its northern hemisphere — there was an ocean. It has weeping water right now. Liquid water on its surface. It has organics. It has all the right conditions. So what are we going to do next? We’re going to launch a series of missions to begin that search for life on Mars. And now it’s more appealing
than ever before. As we move out into the solar system, here’s the tiny moon Enceladus. This is not in what we call
the traditional habitable zone, this area around the sun. This is much further out. This object should be
ice over a silicate core. But what did we find? Cassini was there since 2006, and after a couple years
looked back after it flew by Enceladus and surprised us all. Enceladus is blasting sheets of water
out into the solar system and sloshing back down onto the moon. What a fabulous environment. Cassini just a few months ago
also flew through the plume, and it measured silicate particles. Where does the silica come from? It must come from the ocean floor. The tidal energy is generated by Saturn, pulling and squeezing this moon — is melting that ice, creating an ocean. But it’s also doing that to the core. Now, the only thing that we can think of that does that here on Earth
as an analogy … are hydrothermal vents. Hydrothermal vents deep in our ocean
were discovered in 1977. Oceanographers were completely surprised. And now there are thousands
of these below the ocean. What do we find? The oceanographers, when they go
and look at these hydrothermal vents, they’re teeming with life, regardless of whether the water
is acidic or alkaline — doesn’t matter. So hydrothermal vents are
a fabulous abode for life here on Earth. So what about Enceladus? Well, we believe because it has water and has had it for
a significant period of time, and we believe it has hydrothermal vents with perhaps the right organic material, it is a place where life could exist. And not just microbial — maybe more complex
because it’s had time to evolve. Another moon, very similar, is Europa. Galileo visited Jupiter’s system in 1996 and made fabulous observations of Europa. Europa, we also know,
has an under-the-ice crust ocean. Galileo mission told us that,
but we never saw any plumes. But we didn’t look for them. Hubble, just a couple years ago, observing Europa, saw plumes of water spraying from the cracks
in the southern hemisphere, just exactly like Enceladus. These moons, which are not in what we call
a traditional habitable zone, that are out in the solar system, have liquid water. And if there are organics there, there may be life. This is a fabulous set of discoveries because these moons
have been in this environment like that for billions of years. Life started here on Earth, we believe,
after about the first 500 million, and look where we are. These moons are fabulous moons. Another moon that we’re
looking at is Titan. Titan is a huge moon of Saturn. It perhaps is much larger
than the planet Mercury. It has an extensive atmosphere. It’s so extensive — and it’s mostly nitrogen
with a little methane and ethane — that you have to peer
through it with radar. And on the surface,
Cassini has found liquid. We see lakes … actually almost the size
of our Black Sea in some places. And this area is not liquid water; it’s methane. If there’s any place in the solar system
where life is not like us, where the substitute of water
is another solvent — and it could be methane — it could be Titan. Well, is there life beyond Earth
in the solar system? We don’t know yet, but we’re hot on the pursuit. The data that we’re receiving
is really exciting and telling us — forcing us to think about this
in new and exciting ways. I believe we’re on the right track. That in the next 10 years,
we will answer that question. And if we answer it, and it’s positive, then life is everywhere
in the solar system. Just think about that. We may not be alone. Thank you. (Applause)

100 Replies to “3 moons and a planet that could have alien life | James Green”

  • I never understood why water has to be there for life. That's just what we use on earth. Couldn't life find a way on a planet with liquid methane, or really liquid anything?

  • but but but, water, organics, and energy are just what we know about our type of life. What if there is life out there that needs acid, sugar, plasma to live/be created?

  • What if… just what if we are actually from Mars?

    We could have originated from this planet, maybe we completely annihilated it through war or perhaps it was a tragic solar flare incident, something that decimated the surface

  • I like how he said have to have liquid water, but then used the general term "solvent" as well. Sounds like he's open to the idea of life being on a body like Titan, living off of the Methane seas.

    After all, liquid water is probably the most common solvent in the Universe, but Ammonia and Methane aren't that rare either.

  • You know I always believed that life outside of earth was almost 100% garentre but I never thought life on other planets in our solar system was ever posible

  • That guy might be right but there is one person who only knows about space and that is God
    I really hope there is life out there in space🙏

  • So just because life on Earth needs Water, Energy, and Organic Material means that life can't exist in other circumstances or if it does it's the anomaly? Who's to say we aren't the anomaly? When we drastically narrow our search to only earth-like planets, we severely limit the chance of finding life outside our own. The only plus to searching solely for these planets is that we will eventually need to leave our planet behind and begin anew on another. The problem is that currently we don't have the means to make that transition to anywhere outside of maybe Mars and Venus due to travel time.

    Just because can't survive on a molten surface (or whatever other example of an extreme planet you wish to use) doesn't mean there is no form of life that can exist on such a surface.

    There is marine life on our very own planet that exists at such extreme depths that the pressure makes even unmanned exploration nearly impossible.

  • If when we do finally get to other stars we find an alien hominid race at roughly the same level of civilisation as us then the prospect for trade for example may be great since they would have commodities that earth lacks & we would have commodities that they would lack like for example to name but a few chocolate, plastic, rubber, certain fruits & vegetables & who knows what else & both our races could also exchange cultures & meeting a new race could unify the human race in a way that has never been done before.

    Consider the possibility that we may be completely alone.

  • Is life there we don't know that .
    Biggest bullshit Than U bullshits .

    You know every thing but don't know the main thing For which U started Whole search and Learnings

  • Venus is too hot, Mars is too desolate and the moons of the gas giants are frozen, there's no other life in the solar system

  • In my opinion,we should not waste payload space in to rockets for exploration, it should be used for development of a power station,logistics for habitation water/oxygen generation.once that is established,send people to explore

  • Mars had life, but the Martians discovered oil which led to a population explosion and wars. Within a few hundred years they managed to wipe themselves and all life out on Mars.

  • Mars is the future of the Earth if we, as humans, continue to pillage our Mother Earth! Pollution, Mining, Deforestation, Insatiable Consumer Wants and Needs! I think we should take care of our Earth first and think about "otherworldly organisms" later! Immediate need of the moment!

  • Woww I never knew it was confirmed that they have water on Mars! Pyscho, who would have thought. Ancient aliens anyone? Maybe we come from a huge line of space traaveler?

  • Martian soil is merely a  fine regolith found on the surface.  Its properties can differ significantly from those of terrestrial soil, including its toxicity due to the presence of perchlorates.  It could not sustain life and has not developed from plant or animal life.  Even if you added fertilizer to this soil, it would still be too toxic to grow decent sustainable food.  It has taken 3 million years to obtain a 6 inch layer of terrestrial soil on planet Earth.  This would include all dinosaur decomposition and fecal matter along with plants that could survive in rocky material.  Any other life in this system would have originated from another solar system.

  • I am afraid you need a lot more than that, not just water but a water cycle complete with oceans, rivers, mist, rain, snow and ice in just the right quantities and many other cycles such as plate tectonics, right amount of oxygen, carbon etc. planet (or moon) rotation, orbit, right distance from the right kind of sun, right kind of moon, and so much more. Maybe bacterial life but unless there are these hundreds of "habitable zone" conditions even bacteria will go extinct before ever a chance to evolve. Hug an earthling, because we may be alone.

  • I'm not sure mars would be a good place for persons with butt implants. The air pressure's too low. Wait a minute. That could be an idea for a short sci-fi feature video: 'The case of the exploding butt implants'.

  • OMG!! EXTRAORDINARY EVIDENCE FOR EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS ? Why? That only tells you that so many scientists are stuck in their views, you have to really over convince them to change their views! That´s so wrong. Evidence is evidence and as a scientist you should allways be open to change or expand your views according to new evidence. This way of thinking is why changes threw history got people killed and to way longer time than it should have had needed to taken.

    It´s time to throw that stupied claim in the garbage can and start looking at the new evidence with a open mind and willingness to accept you might have been wrong or just missinformed.. It takes a real man (or women) to admit I am wrong.

  • Ignorance runs rampant, even in the Tea Head community…"Great!" Mars Mars Mars…I have a feeling their missions are not about water and life, but about untouched resources for millions of years! "Trust no one period!" Fickle these scientist Bulls hit artist and their shifty agendas…Earth and humanity could be and should be living cleaner happier lives right this very minute….Greed Greed greed! Watch Venus project which could be accomplished within. A few decades! Wake up people! Whatever their plans are they will not include you or your loved ones…Cosmic Tv. R.A.B.

  • So what about all the structures on the moon as well as UFAO???? Hu? Hu? Hu? Tell another one before that one gets cold.

  • Fist of all there is not such a thing like "extraordinary evidence" – thou have evidence or you don not have evidence. If you look at a solar system objectively and there is life on one planet a scientist will assume that it is probable or good possible there is more – so it is not a extraordinary claim. It would be extraordinary if there is only life on one body of many. Too many scientist – especially presenting scientist leaded by TED talkers which are NOT censored by TED – carry a painful arrogance mixed with strange remains of ptolemean mindset. Carl Sagan fought against aberglaube, fraud and not scientific thinking but was totally open to any kind of theories, ideas and non-mainstream axioms (especially in the younger and older, more authentic years of his career). Not like this. Science is the best instrument we have to discover truth – and, yes it is not the only one but the best. But some of his representers seem to think they are now the leading priesthood of a secret knowledge club. Stop that! You are funded, feed and freed from hard physical labor by the ones who do this things and you owe them your results in a understandable and honest way …. and if you are able to mange also in a humble way even if you had the luck and means going to school while others have to fight for survival.

  • Think of this life only continues for as long as the planet is positioned in the perfect place. So the odds of life existing in our timezone now doesn't mean life exists elsewhere in our timezone, civilisation only last for milliseconds.

  • The odds of life existing eg 1 billion billion now image intelligent life existing is 1 a septrillion the universe is only eg 13 half billion we are the only one in a septrillion, maybe life will have to wait until the universe is a septrillion years old for life to exist again. Maybe humanity have won the lottery early and alien will have to wait the expected time for abiogenis to happen, a time when all stars are less a active and star systems are set in place we are the first to be given the chance to live and evolve

  • We already know that we are not alone. Scientists like to have it all clearly defined with a theory in nice tidy categories as to how it happened. This makes me wonder if any of them actually look at any other areas than their own specialities. Biologists tell us we humans started between 120,000 and 290,000 years ago and we know that we have more than 4,000 possible genetic malfunctions while our nearest (assumed) ape relatives have less than 50. Since Darwinists are apparently looking for their so-called 'missing link' in sediments 2.5 million years old that tells us we are more than 2 million years ahead of our time evolutionally speaking. Somebody genetically manipulated us into existence. Who? – Ask the Sumerian histories.

  • they have a rover with a camera with instruments for testing the soil and rocks. And you're telling me all this time the Rover's been on Mars we're just now (2 years ago) figuring out its water there. Bullcrap!!!

  • Life may just be so unlikely that even if the ingredients are right it just won’t happen because of some blip in the system that just happened for us

  • Aliens in a different planet are probably thinking that there’s life on a different planet too

  • Aliens have been here on this planet a long time and humans have to look and hear the truth , and stop telling lies about them.

  • What if there exist something different from our typical carbon based lifeforms, a sort of new type of biology that is yet to be understood?

  • Just a sec lady's, gentlemen. How can we be so sure. We don't have the tec to go beyond our moon. If they are out there??or we are alone both of it scary. Let's not forget what happened, when America was discovered. 50 million native Americans died. From viruses. Herpes, syphilis, smallpox. Even the flu. And they where hunted down and killed. For there land food source. The great buffalo. There was what???80 million. Killed all the way to 5,000 k for what??fur, bones, meat. Even as a sport. Train's came by and men opened window's and shoot them. Some of them became extinct the last of the mohicans the last of his family and friends and tribe. He lived in a museum behind a glass cage. So the white superior race can look at him. Like a animal in his cage. Its that going to happen???are we going to come in PEACE.???or are we going to infect them with our viruses. History repeat it's self.

  • Water, organics, energy. = life as we know it ….
    He fails to point out that life may exist in other ways that we dont know or understand.

  • Everybody watching this video knows at least one person who had a close encounter with a flying saucer. If they confide in you is another matter.

  • Some have said that the red color on Europa is actually colonies of some sort of life. We could be staring at alien life.

  • Staring out into space looking for life when alien life is all around us. UFO sightings are everywhere I'm getting more and more prominent with the invention of cell phone cameras. Can't see the hand directly in front of the face

  • This subject is amazing! It gives me a great reason to be happy to be alive and a reason to want to live! It makes the whole life feel like a great adventure, which it is but we often forget this! Thank you!

  • Not necessarily human's on other planet's. But other life forms. Things we never seen. Like that planet with nabu people. And water it's everywhere. On other planet's. I don't believe we are just a mistake freak of nature..the distances between them and us its million and and more million light years away. If NASA finds anything. Well let's just say some advance civilization is tring to communicate with us with speed of light.
    Its going to take what??million of light years away they send a signal that is millions of travel time ago. Even if we have some new tech. By the time we get there. They are gone with the wind. Maybe they are DEAD from some catastrophe, or they just gone to better planet's. I mean what intelligent life send us a message long time ago can't remember doing it. And they are going to look at us like. What message???When did we send it??or just say earthling you are not welcome, so go home.

  • Just imagine… nasa lunches it’s Dragon Fly mission and after few minutes of its landing gets destroyed by a dinosaur or maybe by an arrow
    Come back I just told you to imagine 😁

  • Sorry folks we are alone humans cant stand land and space that's empty the universe doesn't have to make sense to you

  • I think everyone atleast once in life seen something crazy in the sky.are they finally saying there now searching for life on other planets?

  • I think all planets have some sort of life especially Saturn n Jupiter because who to say aliens cant survive on gases from those planets maybe the aliens live in a big force field with in the clouds of Jupiter n got big citys who to say aliens dont live under Saturn's base

  • Imagine if humans was on Mars and sent fertilized eggs of humans to earth and then the humans on Mars died due to some environment problems

  • There is definitely more life in the whole universe. It doesn’t make sense to only have life on one planet out of all of space(space is infinite) maybe there’s life on a planet 3 million light years away with life but I am for sure that there is a lot more planets with life

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