The search for extraterrestrial life may not take us very far from home. Astronomers at the University of Copenhagen recently published an incredible study showing that there is a high probability that the Milky Way is absolutely inundated with potentially vital planets.
Published in Science Advances, the team’s article titled “A Pebble Accretion Model for the Formation of Terrestrial Planets in the Solar System,” exposes and attempts to validate a theory that the planets are formed from tiny pebbles of millimeter size that massages over time.
According to the researchers:
We show that a pebble accretion scenario for the formation of terrestrial planets provides explanations for several properties of terrestrial planets in the solar system, including the masses and orbits of Venus, Earth and Mars, the composition isotopic of Earth and Mars, and the delivery of carbon and water to Earth in amounts comparable to suspected reservoirs.
The big idea here involves ice pebbles to be present at the earliest planet formations. Scientists believe that Earth, Mars, and Venus were formed this way and predict that we will find the same scenario in most other exoplanets. And this means that where it was once believed that only Earth or a few Earth-like worlds could have water, it is now possible that most planetary bodies have some form of water on them.
According to a press release from the university, lead researcher Anders Johansen says carbon-based life may be much more common than previously thought:
All planets in the Milky Way can be formed by the same building blocks, which means that planets with the same amount of water and carbon as Earth – and therefore potential places where life can be present – are occurring. frequently around other stars in our galaxy, provided the temperature is right.
The next generation of telescopes are expected to expand our field of view beyond our own solar system and start providing us with real-world data on the chemical and topographical makeup of exoplanets orbiting other stars. And, thanks to a plethora of breakthroughs in machine learning and artificial intelligence, the search for habitable worlds showcasing the building blocks of life has entered an exciting new era.
Quick setting: It’s an exciting time to be an ET lover! This is one of the biggest, almost concrete indicators there might be more Earth-like planets.
Where we have long hoped to find as many signs as the dusty, cold rocks that once housed simple, space-based single-celled organisms, serious scientists now have the right to hypothesize fantastic planets full of ocean life, icy creatures. , or even surface oceans separated by continents filled with life. And very well next.
It seems less and less that we are alone in the universe and more and more like we could discover life form on other planets in a few decades.
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Published February 23, 2021 – 19:48 UTC
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