Revealing the properties of other worlds in our Solar system, we gradually realize that the Earth is unique. Only at our planet’s surface was liquid water; only we had a complex, multicellular life, whose existence can be guessed, glancing from orbit; only we had copious amounts of atmospheric oxygen. In other worlds can be underground oceans or evidence of liquid water in the past, perhaps even single-celled organisms. Of course, in other solar systems might have Earth-like worlds, with similar conditions for the emergence of life. But that life existed, the presence of the world earth-like is not required. The latest findings of scientists show that the world may not even be needed. Perhaps life is in the depths of interstellar space.
Signs of organic, life-giving molecules find throughout the cosmos, including the largest region of star formation close to the Orion nebula
As far as we know, life only needs a few key ingredients. She needs
- complex molecule or set of molecules,
- is capable of encoding information,
- to be a key driver of activity
- and serve for the collection or storage of energy and direct it to work
- and to be able to make copies of itself, and to transmit the coded information to the next generation.
There is a fine line between animate and inanimate, which are not identified until the end; includes bacteria, crystals, and viruses are still in question.
The formation and growth of snowflakes, a special configuration of the ice crystal. Although the crystals have a molecular configuration that allows them to reproduce and copy themselves, they do not use energy and do not encode genetic information
Why do we need a planet to have life? — asks Ethan Siegel with Medium.com. Of course, the water environment provided by our oceans, could be ideal for life, but the raw material for her to find throughout the Universe. Stars turning into supernova, colliding neutron stars, emissions from mass burning of hydrogen and helium — all this leads to replenishment of the periodic table. After a sufficient number of generations of stars, the universe was filled with all the necessary ingredients. Carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulfur, magnesium, chlorine everything you want life. From these elements (and hydrogen) consists of 99.5% of the human body.
The elements that make up the human body, necessary for life and are located in different places of the periodic table, but all of them are born in the processes associated with multiple types of stars in the Universe
These elements stuck together in an interesting organic configuration, you need a source of energy. Although on Earth we have the sun in the milky Way galaxy hundreds of billions of stars and plenty of sources of energy between stars. Neutron stars, white dwarfs, the remains of a supernova, the proto-planet and protostar, nebula and more fills our milky Way and all large galaxies. When we study the emission of young stars in the protoplanetary nebulae, or gas clouds in the interstellar medium, we find complex molecules of all possible varieties. Here and amino acids, and sugars, and aromatic hydrocarbons, and even exotic components like ethylformate: an unusual molecule that gives raspberries their characteristic smell.
There is even evidence that in space there are buckminsterfullerene, exploding the remains of dead stars. But if we return to Earth we find evidence of these organic materials in some not particularly organic places: inside the meteors that fell from space to earth. Here on Earth, there are 20 different amino acids that play a role in the biological life processes. In theory, all molecules of amino acids from which proteins are identical in structure except for the R group, which may consist of different atoms in different combinations. In the earthly processes of life there are only 20 of these and almost all molecules have left chirality. But inside the remains of asteroids are more than 80 different amino acids, left and right chirality in equal amounts.
Many amino acids not found in nature, found in the Murchison meteorite that fell to Earth in Australia in the 20th century
If we look at the simplest types of life that exists today, and see when the Earth appeared different and more complex types of life, we will notice an interesting pattern: the amount of information encoded in the genome of the organism increases with increasing complexity. This makes sense, as mutations, copy and redundancy can increase information inside. But even if we take the genome is not clogged, not only will we find that information increases, but what it does is logarithmically over time. If we go back in time, you may find that:
- 0.1 billion years ago mammals were 6 x 109 base pairs.
- 0.5 billion years ago the fish was about 109 base pairs.
- 1 billion years ago, worms were 8 x 108 base pairs.
- 2.2 billion years ago in eukaryotes was 3 x 106 base pairs.
- 3.5 billion years ago prokaryotes, the first known forms of life, was 7 x 105 base pairs.
If you build schedule, you may find something incredible.
Either life began on Earth with the complexity of the order of 100 000 base pairs in the first organism, or life began billions of years ago in a much more simple form. This could happen in a pre-existing world, the contents of which migrated into space and eventually fell to the Ground during the big event of panspermia, which is definitely possible. And it could also occur in the depths of interstellar space, where the energy of stars in the galaxy and disasters provide the environment for molecular Assembly. Perhaps life was not always in the form of cells, but in the shape of a molecule, which can collect energy in the environment to perform a function, to reproduce and to encode the information necessary for the survival of the produced molecules completely.
The gas-rich nebula, are expelled into the interstellar medium, hot new stars formed in the Central region. Earth may have formed in the same area and this area may already teemed with primitive life forms
Therefore, if we want to understand the origin of life on Earth or life beyond Earth, we may not want to go to another world. Themselves the secrets, opening the key to life, can hide in the most inconspicuous places: in the abyss of interstellar space. And if the answer is really hiding there, ingredients for life, not only will you find throughout the cosmos, but life itself can be everywhere. It remains to understand where to look.
If life does exist in interstellar space, almost every world that is formed in the Universe today, will keep these primitive forms of life until better times. And if he’s lucky to ensure the future life with radiation protection, find a source of energy and friendly environment, evolution is inevitable. Perhaps life on our planet owes its origin to the depths of interstellar space.