Sunday, September 28, 2014

Old Water - New Molecule - Water Vapor in Exoplanet = More Potential For Life In The Universe

Hey Space Placers!

Three new research articles show that the conditions for life as we know it here on Earth exist in the Universe.

Research has shown that water is a byproduct of stellar formation.  A significant portion of the water here on Earth has been found to predate the formation of our Sun. We know how old the Sun is and the study shows that a lot of the water here on Earth is older which means that it had to come from the giant gas cloud that our Sun formed from.  We can extrapolate this to other stars and planets that form in the same manner as ours and rightfully conclude that water must be present in those star-exoplanet systems as well.

There is some thought that much of the planet's water came from the impact of asteroids and comets. Each of these left overs from the formation of the solar system were formed from the same gas cloud that made the Sun and the Solar System.

Water Through Time
Bill Saxton, NSF/AUI/NRAO
Astronomers have also found a new complex organic molecule in a gas cloud in our Milky Way Galaxy. This discovery shows that even more complex molecules are awaiting discovery and can form in interstellar space. It is thought that the molecules necessary for life here on Earth could have been deposited billions of years ago by cometary, asteroid and meteorite impacts.

The last article comes from our very own University of Maryland which has discovered water vapor in the atmosphere of an exoplanet 124 light years away in Cygnus, the Swan.

I have no doubt that life exists in the Universe beyond Earth and is plentiful. Obtaining proof however, will be difficult. Life may be found in our own solar system on Mars or on some of the moons that have oceans; robotic spacecraft will be key to such explorations.

We may someday finally encounter a radio signal that clearly has but one possible origin - intelligent life.

One thing we KNOW for certain is this - the formation of stars produces planets - lots of them. You cannot have life as we know without a stable source of energy produced by a star that falls upon the surface of a planet. We have confirmed almost 4,000 planets beyond our solar system and have calculated that each star in our galaxy has an average of 10 planets. 200 billion+ stars equals 2 trillion planets in our galaxy alone and their are 100's of billion of galaxies in the observable Universe.

Life always finds a way on Earth even after great dyings/extinctions and I have no reason to doubt life is any different in the Universe.

Food for thought when you look at the stars Space Placers.

I'll be up at Shenandoah National Park tonight at 9 pm EDT giving another presentation. Hope/Wish you can/could be there.

Sky Guy in VA

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