Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Just how sturdy is life?

We very often talk about the fragility of life, how humanity must be careful less it destroy life on earth. Well, apparently life could much more sturdy that we gave it credit for. And when I say much more sturdy I mean in the senses of surviving the death of a star kind of sturdy, you know just about undestroyable level of sturdiness here. You see in a new that is very interesting for the search of life in the universe scientist have detected organic molecules in the starburst galaxy Arp 220. Now of course organic molecules are not proof of life but if organic molecule that we considered very fragile can exist in a starburst environment well other more advanced molecules or life itself can probably survive.

To give you an idea of what kind of condition exists in a starburst galaxy, imagine a place where a new star is born every month, a star bigger then our sun. In that place the “emptiness” of space is a burning hot 10 000 K, the quantity of light is strong enough to blow use gas cloud away over billions of km. The stars are so close together that if a planet could exist there (at 10 000 K most planet will evaporate) it will exist in a permanent day with no shadows. So think of it, if life could appear there or close to those condition how strong and resilient life must be.

Of course that is not a reason to stop valuing our life and the life on our planet, but still it means life is amazing. The universe might yet be filled with life and exploring the stars to search for other with whom we can related is such a high goal that humanity should not pass it by.

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