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Because it looks like the Vatican is seriously pondering the possibility of life on other planets:

If finding extraterrestrial life is like “a detective chase, a crime to be solved, we’re getting very close to the answer,” said Chris Impey, head of the Steward Observatory and the University of Arizona’s department of astronomy in Tucson, Ariz. 

Impey was one of 30 high-level scientists attending a Nov. 6-10 study week on astrobiology sponsored by the Vatican Observatory and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He and others spoke at a Vatican press conference Nov. 10. 

The astronomer said it is widely believed that life needs three basic ingredients: carbon-based material, energy provided by stars, and water, “which is one of the most common molecules in the universe.” 

“These three elements have already been found in a lot of places in galaxies,” he said.

“The universe, if it’s like a table, the table is set for dinner. Everything is there, all the ingredients are there” to welcome and support life, Impey added. 

There’s more at the CNS link.

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