Guest post by Markus Hammonds
The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe is debatably one of the deepest philosophical questions that modern science is trying to answer. The idea of life on other worlds is, by now, deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness. Whether you know of the idea from H.G. Wells or Carl Sagan, it’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t at least encountered the idea of aliens. Whether or not we admit it, the very question of something as unknown as alien life is somehow captivating. As a child, the idea always fascinated me. I was an avid reader of stories by people like Isaac Asimov and Larry Niven, and a keen watcher of shows on TV like Lost in Space and Star Trek. That the uncountable millions of stars in the night sky might possess planets of their own, perhaps with life unlike anything around us here on Earth, fuelled many summer nights of stargazing.