Dictionary > Extraterrestrial

Extraterrestrial

Definition
adjective
(astronomy) Of, pertaining to, relating to, or occurring beyond the earth’s atmosphere
noun
(astrobiology) The hypothetical form of life outside the earth’s atmosphere
Supplement
Extraterrestrial is a term used to denote to entities (palpable or hypothetical) occurring outside the earth or its atmosphere. The term is derived from the combination of the terms, extra, which means beyond, and terrestrial, which pertains to (the land of) earth. Thus, the term, extraterrestrial life, pertains to a living thing existing outside the earth, from space, or from another planet. The concept of extraterrestrial life, though, remains hypothetical since there are no data reported to support the notion of life beyond earth. Astrobiologists and astronomers, though, remain vigilant in finding proofs that there is. Extraterrestrial physics is a field in physics that works on astrophysics and space plasma research, such as that in Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. Their research is focused on the physics of space, particularly outside the earth’s atmosphere using balloons, airplanes, rockets, satellites, and space craft.1
Word origin: Latin extra (outside, except, beyond), from exter (being on the outside) + Latin terrestri (s) pertaining to earth, from terra (earth) + -al
Abbreviation / Acronym: ET
See also:

Related term(s):

  • Extraterrestrial Being
  • extraterrestrial life
  • extraterrestrial intelligence
  • Reference(s):

    1Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. URL: https://www.mpe.mpg.de/2617/institute


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