Scientists think Pluto could have primitive alien life based on new data from the New Horizons space probe.
An early study of the data indicates complex chemical reactions are occurring on the distant world that could form alien life below Pluto’s surface. Scientists think Pluto has a complex layer of organic haze and water ice mountains that were created through an unknown geologic process.
New Horizons located possible organic material on the surface of Pluto and found evidence of an ocean of liquid water just beneath the surface. These new discoveries combined make the possibility the tiny world would develop life much higher.
“These are the things you need for life: organics, raw material and energy,” Dr. Michael Summers, a NASA planetary scientist at George Mason University who was involved in the research, told Space.com. “I’ve been studying Pluto all my life, and never expected to talk about these things being there.”
Extremely primitive life could have been most suited to survive on worlds like Pluto, which could generate these kind of chemical changes. The earliest potential evidence of life on Earth is 3.5 billion years old, but evidence of potential life from before that period has mostly been destroyed by plate tectonics.
Summers compared the new discoveries on Pluto to Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, which scientists think has a high probability of being capable of developing alien life.
Vast bodies of liquid methane and ethane, which some scientists speculate may take the place of water in living cells, lie on Titan’s surface. In June 2010, scientists analyzing data from a NASA probe to the planet reported anomalies in the atmosphere near the surface which could have been generated by methane-producing organisms.
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