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  • University Professor Maintains Pluto Aliens Could Exist

University Professor Maintains Pluto Aliens Could Exist

Sep 23 2015 Read 1447 Times

The world has long been infatuated by the concept of ‘life on Mars’ however in the wake of NASA’s Pluto explorations, the dwarf planet seems to have stolen the spotlight. Professor Brian Cox, English physicist and lecturer in particle physics in the University of Manchester’s School of Physics and Astronomy maintains that alien life on Pluto isn’t as far-fetched as some might think.

In a recent interview with The Times Cox explained his views on the matter, referring to images captured by NASA’s New Horizons probe. Some of the most fascinating snaps showed icy covered mountains higher than the Rockies! He takes a highly scientific approach to the matter and asserts that if Pluto did once host a subsurface, the chances of it supporting life are not impossible.  "The probe 'showed you that there may well be a subsurface ocean on Pluto," he said. "[This] means - if our understanding of life on Earth is even slightly correct - that you could have living things there."

According to Cox, what lies beneath the icy mountains is of the most interest. He muses that under the peaks lies a warm ocean capable of hosting organic chemistry that could support the growth of alien life.  

Cox gets social

Of course, a discussion wouldn’t be a discussion unless social media was involved. Cox later took to Twitter to clarify his views, posting the following: "To be precise, liquid water is necessary but not sufficient for life, and there might be subsurface liquid water on Pluto.”

Cox isn’t the only high profile name getting onboard the search for alien life. His comments come in the wake of a joint $100 million initiative from Professor Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner that aims to seek out extraterrestrial life. The project plans to gather huge amounts of data from two of the world’s most advanced telescopes in a bid to actively scan the universe for signs of alien life.

The alien hunt goes public

To process the colossal amount of information Hawking and Milner are calling on the public to download an app that taps into the unutilised processing power of personal devices across the globe. Want to know more about how data is used in the scientific sphere? Streamlining the Use of High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Data to Fingerprint Adulterated Honey using Multivariate Data Analysis to Facilitate Food Product Quality Control looks at how mass spectrometry is used to track down adulterated honey infiltrating the consumables industry.  

So will NASA uncover life on Pluto? While nothing is certain, some are certainly highly optimistic.  

Image via Flickr Creative Commons. Source: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

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