Philae landed on a comet, which astronomers believe could have aliens. Churyumov-Gerasimenko or more commonly known as Comet 67P has a rich organic black crust under its icy surface and this is what is leading scientists to believe that there could be the presence if living organisms.
Data from the spacecraft shows that the comets surface has a black crust overlaying smooth icy seas and flat bottomed craters containing lakes of refrozen water with organic debris.
Rosetta spacecraft send back data on Wednesday which shows some massive sinkholes on Comet 67P.A study published in the journal Sciences states that scientists have theories that the pits were formed when material on the comets surface collapsed.
There also seem to be strange clusters of organic material that resemble viral particles present on the comets surface.
Philae was the first spacecraft to settle on a comet. It touched down on the icy 67P in November but was only able to send data to Earth for 60 hours before running out of power but it approached the sun and absorbed enough energy to recharge its battery and wake up the Lander in June.
Unfortunately neither Rosetta nor Philae are designed to search for alien life-forms. Astronomer and astrobiologist Prof Chandra Wickramasinghe, who was involved in the mission planning 15 years ago, believes people should be more open to the possibility of alien life.
Wickramasinghe said: “Five hundred years ago it was a struggle to have people accept that the Earth was not the centre of the universe. After that revolution our thinking has remained Earth-centered in relation to life and biology. It’s deeply ingrained in our scientific culture and it will take a lot of evidence to kick it over.”
It is believed by scientists like Wickramasinghe and his colleague Dr Max Wallis, from the University of Cardiff, that comets could prove to be housing living microbes similar to the way extremophiles survive in the most inhabitable places on Earth.
They went on to say that comets could very well have helped to sow the seeds of life on Earth and possibly on other plants like Mars.
The scientist carried out studies using computer stimulations that showed them that microbes could in-fact inhabit watery regions of the comet. Organisms containing anti-freeze salts could be active at temperatures as low as -40C.
“These are not easily explained in terms of prebiotic chemistry. The dark material is being constantly replenished as it is boiled off by heat from the sun. Something must be doing that at a fairly prolific rate.”
The astronomers argue their case for life on 67P at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales.