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  • Pratham Kulshrestha

Are We All Alone?

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” - Arthur C. Clarke

The beginning of our universe was contained in the initial singularity which held all the energy and matter that ever existed or will exist. The explosion of this singularity resulted in the event we now call ‘The Big Bang’. The Big Bang was the most major event in the entire history of our 14 billion-year-old universe as it was the event that gave rise to the universe in the first place.

All chemical elements that we are aware of now, were either created by the big bang like hydrogen, helium and lithium or inside the ultra-hot and dense cores of the earliest stars of the universe. One of the questions that every single one of us must have pondered upon at least once is whether or not we are alone in the universe.

Our universe is infinitely expanding at an immeasurable rate giving birth to billions of galaxies every moment. One might even say that since there are so many galaxies, there is no doubt that several planets with life would exist too. Studies show that the most basic requirements for any life, intelligent or otherwise to form are water, organic compounds and energy. The tale of the origin of life on our planet is a complex and unique one, where early chemistry changed to biology giving way to life even in the most unimaginable places like hot volcanic oceans and arid

deserts. One thing that could be concluded from this is that life is extremely adaptive. Scientists have found planets and moons like Enceladus, Europa, Titan, Mars, Kepler-452b etc. However, many of these planets may not have suitable atmospheres and temperatures for life to commence. For example, Venus was revealed to have a toxic atmosphere along with immense heat and far greater temperatures than that on the earth.

After further studies, it was believed that at least a fourth of all stellar systems would have a planet with a similar size to the earth and an optimum distance to the sun. Which rounds up to about 50 billion earth-like planets. Since life on earth commenced as soon as the earth cooled and recovered from its volcanic age, we might say that if we haven’t already made a discovery, we might be close, both in terms of time and space.

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