English physicist Brian Cox once famously declared that humans could be the only complex life in our galaxy. Going back on that statement, he has now reportedly said that Pluto may contain a sub-surface ocean warm enough to host life.
The tell-tale ooze of glaciers on Pluto’s surface have sent enough hints to Cox to believe in the possibilities of a sub-terranean sea warm enough to host organic chemistry, The Times reported.
The New Horizon spacecraft of NASA has completed a 3 million mile journey across the solar system and performed a flyby of Pluto in July. During its journey the spacecraft had captured intricate images of Pluto and its moons, Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra.
The Daily Mail reported that craters and deep scars were seen on the surface along with possible mountain ranges and huge icy plains. “The New Horizons probe showed you that there may well be a sub-surface ocean on Pluto, which means — if our understanding of life on Earth is even slightly correct — that you could have living things there,” Cox told The Times .
According to Cox, the most immediate prospect for finding evidence of life was on the moons of other planets closer to home.
“It’s not as accessible, unfortunately, as Europa [a satellite of Jupiter] or some of Saturn’s moons. Titan looks as though it’s got a subsurface ocean now, and Enceladus throws liquid into space, so you can fly through that and see if it’s got organics in it. The biological ‘bottlenecks’ on the way to multicellular organisms are so difficult to squeeze through that only a tiny fraction of the planets where life emerges will be home to anything more than the simplest biology,” he said.