Life Can Even Exist In The Stars: Is Our Sun Home To Alien Life?
We tend to look for very specific forms of life in the universe based on what we know: an Earth-like planet in orbit around a star and at a distance that allows the water on its surface to be in a liquid state.
Much has already been said about silicon life forms or, for example, methane-based life as an alternative, but what else is theoretically possible?
According to a study by a group of physicists, hypothetically, there may well be alien species that can form, develop and flourish in the depths of stars. It all depends on how you define life.
It is quite possible that even inside our Sun there is also a life form completely unidentified for us.
If we take as a key the ability to encode information by some carriers and the ability of these carriers to reproduce themselves faster than they decay, then hypothetical monopole particles strung on cosmic filaments can become the basis of life inside stars, just as DNA and RNA form the basis of life on Earth.
With these “necklaces” the process of mass formation of random sequences could well have occurred until one was formed that is capable of self-replication, as was the case with RNA.
The problem is that neither cosmic strings (one-dimensional linear objects) nor monopoles (elementary particles with one magnetic pole) have been discovered so far, remaining purely hypothetical, but theory is always ahead of practice.
Back in 1988, Russian scientists Evgeny Chudnovsky and his colleague, theoretical physicist Alexander Vilenkin, predicted that cosmic strings could be captured by stars.
Cosmic necklaces can form in a series of symmetry-breaking phase transitions, according to a new study. At the first stage, monopoles appear. In the second – strings.
This can lead to a stable configuration of one monopole bead and two strings, which, in turn, can be connected, forming one, two, and even three-dimensional structures that are as similar as possible to atoms connected by chemical bonds.
Cosmic strings are hypothetical 1-dimensional topological defects which may have formed during a symmetry-breaking phase transition in the early universe when the topology of the vacuum manifold associated to this symmetry breaking was not simply connected.
Interestingly, according to the authors of the work, if the lifespan of self-replicating nuclear species is as short as the lifespan of many unstable composite nuclear objects, they can quickly evolve towards great complexity.
What might such a species of aliens look like? This, physicists believe, is a real feast for the imagination, but there is no clear direction. Our current knowledge of life as such is too tied to the life form we know on Earth.
But scientists have suggested that, since such organisms will use part of the energy of their star for survival and reproduction, this may explain the faster cooling of some of them, which does not correspond to accepted models. Randomly dimming stars can also be included here.
For example just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic really kicked off in early 2020, the world was fixated on a distant supergiant star, 700 light-years away known as Betelgeuse. The monstrous furnace suddenly dimmed, becoming 10 times darker than usual.
To date, this is nothing more than an interesting hypothesis, but physicists plan to continue research by developing models of cosmic necklaces in stars.
Yes, it is far from certain that this will lead us to an encounter with brightly luminous aliens, but at least it can give us a better understanding of cosmic strings and monopoles. In the end, the idea that the universe is actually overflowing with the most diverse life cannot but excite the mind.
Extraterrestrial life may be hiding in “terminator zones”
In a study published in the Astrophysical Journal, astrophysicists set out to find out if exoplanets could support life.
Astronomers have come to the conclusion that on the surface of some exoplanets there is a strip that may contain water, necessary for the existence of biological life. The terminator zone is the dividing line between the day and night sides of an exoplanet.
Many exoplanets are planets outside the solar system held by gravity. This means that one side of the planet is always facing the star they orbit, while the other side is in constant darkness.
The water on the dark side will most likely be in a frozen state, while on the light side it will be so hot that the water should just evaporate.
The terminator zone would be a “friendly place” – neither too hot nor too cold – in which liquid water could support extraterrestrial life.
Dr. Ana Lobo of the University of California, said: “The day side can be scalding hot, much uninhabitable, while the night side will be icy, potentially covered in ice. You need a planet that’s the right temperature for liquid water.”
“We’re trying to draw attention to planets with more limited amounts of water that, despite not having widespread oceans, might have lakes or other smaller bodies of liquid water, and that climate could actually be very promising.”
“By exploring these exotic climate states, we are improving our chances of finding and correctly identifying a habitable planet in the near future.”
The researchers created a model of their climate by analyzing different temperatures, wind patterns and radiative forcing, and found the “correct” zone on exoplanets that could contain life-supporting liquid water.
Researchers who are looking for life on exoplanets will now take into account the fact that it can hide in certain areas.
Astronomers discover the strongest evidence for another Universe before the Big Bang
The notion of the Big Bang goes back nearly 100 years, when the first evidence for the expanding Universe appeared.
If the Universe is expanding and cooling today, that implies a past that was smaller, denser, and hotter. In our imaginations, we can extrapolate back to arbitrarily small sizes, high densities, and hot temperatures: all the way to a singularity, where all of the Universe’s matter and energy was condensed in a single point.
For many decades, these two notions of the Big Bang — of the hot dense state that describes the early Universe and the initial singularity — were inseparable.
But beginning in the 1970s, scientists started identifying some puzzles surrounding the Big Bang, noting several properties of the Universe that weren’t explainable within the context of these two notions simultaneously.
When cosmic inflation was first put forth and developed in the early 1980s, it separated the two definitions of the Big Bang, proposing that the early hot, dense state never achieved these singular conditions, but rather that a new, inflationary state preceded it.
There really was a Universe before the hot Big Bang, and some very strong evidence from the 21st century truly proves that it’s so.
Although we’re certain that we can describe the very early Universe as being hot, dense, rapidly expanding, and full of matter-and-radiation — i.e., by the hot Big Bang — the question of whether that was truly the beginning of the Universe or not is one that can be answered with evidence.
The differences between a Universe that began with a hot Big Bang and a Universe that had an inflationary phase that precedes and sets up the hot Big Bang are subtle, but tremendously important. After all, if we want to know what the very beginning of the Universe was, we need to look for evidence from the Universe itself.
Read the full article here.
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