Winston Churchill thought about alien life

Winston Churchill thought about alien life

Never unpublished work shows that during the war the illustrious leader was thinking about the potential for life elsewhere in the universe.

War correspondent, statesman, astronomer. But the strangest thing is that his treatise on extraterrestrial life has a scientific potential 60 years later.

Managing Britain and helping the allies win the Second World War, he was among the first theorists in the universe who were looking for new places to live.

Excerpts from his essay “Are We Alone in the Universe?” Were presented on Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature.

“I am not vain enough to think that my Sun is the only one with the family of planets,” Churchill wrote in a document that astrophysicist Mario Livio explored last year at the National Churchill Museum of the United States, Missouri.

He concluded that there must be other planets with “the right size to hold water and, possibly, the atmosphere” and “located at a proper distance from their parent sun in order to maintain an appropriate temperature.”

Later it was called the “habitable zone” of the star. Water is a necessary requirement for life, but primitive.

Churchill was the first to prepare a document in 1939, when Europe was on the verge of war, and revised it in the late 1950s when visiting its publisher in a village in the south of France. The work has never been published or subjected to scientific and academic criticism.

“As far as the extraordinary course of his washed, if he thinks about this problem as a scientist,” - says Livio.

The concept of habitable zones emerged in the 1950s, just in the decade when Churchill completed his essay. He was known for his love of science. He wrote essays and articles in the 1920s and 1930s. on topics including evolution, cell biology and thermonuclear energy.

Already as a politician, he advised scholars and was the first British Prime Minister using a scientific adviser. Churchill's government financed laboratories, telescopes, and technology that brought many discoveries.

Until that moment, astrophysicists had no idea that they were also in his circle of interests.

“While hundreds of politicians are avoiding science, I believe that the time has come to recall the leader who has been doing it so deeply,” writes Livio in an article.

The hunt for potentially habitable planets began decades after Churchill's thoughts. In 2015, researchers estimated that our Milky Way galaxy alone could be home to billions of planets orbiting in inhabited zones.

The encyclopedia of extrasolar planets, located in Paris, has already collected a database of more than 3,500 planets orbiting distant stars within habitability.

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