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Can We Sniff Out Alien Life? Some Scientists Think So

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smelloscopeScientists have been searching for extraterrestrial life for some time now, and various individuals and organizations have made different predictions regarding when we might actually find something: in the next century, by 2040, right now. It’s incredibly difficult to believe that humans are the only intelligent (your mileage may vary when it comes to the usage of that term) life forms in the infinite universe, but finding the others is another matter entirely.

The Fermi Paradox teases out this line of thought: given how likely it is that life does exist somewhere out there, how come we haven’t been able to gather any actual evidence of it? Why aren’t aliens making contact with us? Is it because we’re too stupid, as Neil deGrasse Tyson suggests, or because of the sheer distances that separate us from our galactic neighbors? Whatever the answer, you can rest assured that scientists won’t stop looking for alien life, and one possible way of doing so is by sniffing out the unique chemicals that comprise the atmospheres of inhabited planets.