By Sarah Rugheimer
IT IS the biggest question in the universe: are we alone? Philosophers have debated the question for millennia. When 16th-century Italian astronomer and Dominican friar Giordano Bruno declared that the cosmos contained “an infinity of worlds of the same kind as our own”, he was directly contravening religious dogma. He was later burned at the stake during the Inquisition, in part for daring to question Earth’s unique status.