Alien life could be hiding underground on the MOON as Harvard geniuses say it's time to start drilling

ALIEN life could be lurking in deep underwater lakes on the Moon, scientists believe.

The Moon's surface is inhospitable – a rocky wasteland with no air to breathe.

And the absence of surface water on the Moon makes matters even bleaker.

But the same might not be true below ground, where high pressure could create a life-friendly environment.

Liquid water could exist in these deep areas of the Moon, far below the lunar surface – according to top space scientists from Harvard and the Florida Institute of Technology.

"Surface water requires an atmosphere to maintain a finite pressure, without which liquid water cannot exist," said Dr Manasvi Lingam, the lead author on the project.

"However, when one moves to deeper regions, the upper layers exert pressure and thus permit the existence of liquid water in principle.

"For instance, Mars does not currently have any longstanding bodies of water on its surface, but it is known to have subsurface lakes."

Scientists will now need to drill down below the surface to hunt for signs of water – and ultimately, life.

But it's not easy: the Moon is huge.

Though it's much smaller than Earth, the Moon has a diameter of 2,158 miles – so picking the right spot to drill is key.

One possibility mooted by the scientists is to drill near the equator, where the "subsurface biosphere" is closer to the surface.

Drillers could also look for geological "hotspots" where higher temperatures are recorded.

But scientists will need to drill tens of kilometres down, so finding a spot where geological activity has exposed the deep layers is key.

Nasa’s Artemis lunar mission – key facts

Nasa’s Artemis lunar mission – key facts

  • Nasa has pledged to land man on the Moon in 2024
  • The mission, dubbed Artemis, will mark the first time astronauts have set foot on the lunar surface since 1972
  • A giant Nasa rocket dubbed the Space Launch System will carry astronauts beyond Earth's atmosphere
  • Once at the Moon, two astronauts will descend to the surface from an orbiting craft called the Lunar Gateway
  • Nasa has pledged that one of the landing crewa will be female, marking the first time a woman has set foot on the Moon
  • The pair would land on the lunar south pole, where vast reserves of frozen water could be tapped for future explorers
  • The landing system that brought the astronauts to the surface will then blast back to the orbiting Gateway satellite
  • They will board an Orion capsule for the 250,000-mile trip back to Earth
  • Nasa has a mountain of technical challenges to overcome before Artemis gets the green light
  • It's still not clear if everything will be ready in time for the ambitious 2024 launch date
  • Nasa boss Jim Bridenstine has said the Moon will serve as a critical training ground for Mars expeditions, perhaps in the 2030s

The good news is that there's hope for such missions.

"Drilling might be possible in the context of the Artemis program to establish a sustainable base on the Moon by 2024," said Dr Avi Loeb, of Harvard University.

"One can imagine robots and heavy machinery that will drill deep under the lunar surface in search of life, just as we do in searching for oil on Earth."

This research was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

It follows a recent major discovery that hints life may be lurking on Venus.

 In other news, Nasa has shown off a new lunar lander that could put astronauts back on the Moon in 2024.

 Find out how long you'd survive on each planet in our Solar System.

An ex Nasa genius is selling the 'smell of space' in a perfume bottle.

And, a massive star in a distant galaxy has baffled astronomers by disappearing without a trace.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article