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Life could exist in parallel universes, astrophysicists say



Scientists have been trying to understand our place in the universe since time immemorial. This search prompted many ancient astronomers and philosophers to question whether we are the only living species in the cosmos.

And although we still have no idea how big the Universe is, where we are and what surrounds us, many believe that we are not alone in space.

But imagine for a moment that there could be other universes where intelligent life could exist.

There are chances that life could exist on planets located in parallel universes, according to two scientific studies published in the Royal Astronomical Society.

An international team of scientists has run computer simulations to build new universes in a variety of settings where dark energy has been a determining factor. To the surprise of the authors, it turned out that life can exist in more scenarios than the researchers had previously assumed.

According to scientists, dark energy is a mysterious and invisible force that exists in the “empty” spaces of the Universe. When gravity is compressed along with matter, dark energy, on the contrary, separates it. According to scientists, the second wins the space battle.

According to the latest estimates of the modern cosmological model, dark energy makes up approximately 69% of the total mass energy of the Universe. Experts explain that this amount is enough for the development of galaxies and life support. According to the researchers, if we lived in a universe with too much dark energy, then space would expand faster than galaxies could form.

Conversely, if there were no shortage of dark energy, gravity would cause galaxies to collapse within themselves before they could fully form. It looks like some kind of cosmic balance.

Through a series of experiments and simulations, an international team of scientists from England, Australia and the Netherlands used a program called Evolution and Collision of Galaxies and Their Environments to simulate the birth, life and eventual death of various hypothetical universes.

In every simulation conducted by experts, the amount of dark energy in the universe has been adjusted upwards from zero to several hundred times.

Scientists have found that even in universes where the amount of dark energy is 300 times greater than ours, life still continued to exist.

“The simulations have shown that the accelerated expansion caused by dark energy has little to no effect on the birth of stars and therefore on the origin of life,” said study co-author Pascal Elahi, a researcher at the University of Western Australia.

“We wonder how much dark energy can be before life becomes impossible. Our simulations have shown that the accelerated expansion caused by dark energy has little to no effect on the birth of stars and, therefore, on the origin of life. A hundred times may not be enough to create a lifeless universe.”

Based on recent research, if we were part of the Multiverse, we would expect to see much more dark energy than we currently have, about 50 times what we see in our Universe.

Professor Richard Bauer of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University said:

“Star formation in the universe is a battle between the pull of gravity and the repulsion of dark energy. In our simulations, we found that universes with much more dark energy than we currently have can form stars perfectly.”

“So why is there so little dark energy in our universe? I think we should be looking for a new law of physics to explain this strange property of our universe.”

In short, parallel universes, which most likely also exist, are filled with life, just like our universe. The only question remains what kind of life exists there.

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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.

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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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