Saturday, April 21, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Discovery suggests that alien life may be rare


Posted on Thursday, 5 April, 2018 | Comment icon 12 comments

Phosphorous is created when a massive star explodes. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 ESO/M. Kornmesser
A lack of phosphorus in the universe could mean that Earth-type life is a lot rarer than commonly thought.
Phosphorus, which is created when a particularly massive star explodes in a supernova, forms the foundation of DNA and is vital to the transfer and storage of energy in our cells.

Without it, life such as that found on Earth cannot form.

In a new study, scientists who have observed remnants of these exploding stars now believe that phosphorus may be a lot less common than we thought. Earth, they argue, may have gotten lucky because it happened to be situated next to the 'right' type of supernova.

"The route to carrying phosphorus into new-born planets looks rather precarious," said Dr Jane Greaves, an astronomer from the University of Cardiff.

"If phosphorus is sourced from supernovae, and then travels across space in meteoritic rocks, I'm wondering if a young planet could find itself lacking in reactive phosphorus because of where it was born ? That is, it started off near the wrong kind of supernova ?"

"In that case, life might really struggle to get started out of phosphorus-poor chemistry, on another world otherwise similar to our own."

Source: Belfast Telegraph | Comments (12)

Tags: Life, Phosphorus

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Orphalesion on 5 April, 2018, 13:46
Exactly. if we are talking rare talking rare on a galactic scale that would still potentially add up to an astronomical number.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Not A Rockstar on 5 April, 2018, 14:26
Like lotto numbers, despite the odds, people win every few weeks. I believe there is life out there.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Piney on 5 April, 2018, 15:40
In the original Dune series by Frank Herbert and the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov humans never make contact with technological life. Just different plant and animal life.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Grignr on 5 April, 2018, 15:54
I think the concepts covered in the series I mention (he did some short stories too) are: Galactic level catastrophes occur often enough that other species are not much more advanced than our own anywhere in our own Galaxy, some species of Aliens have progressed a little more quickly and the expected expansion of those species becomes detectable in the very near future. Life is so rare that we really are the only planet to form intelligent life. Each intelligent species evolves in its own universe in the Multiverse and so never meet. The universe is a simulation entirely created to study evo... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by bison on 5 April, 2018, 17:43
Does a star going supernova have to be as massive as that at Cassiopeia , in order disperseenough phosphorus to support life in nearby forming star systems.? This isn't really clear, but if so, bear in mind that there are 20,000 such stars in our galaxy. Lots and lots of opportunities for the fostering of life. They only looked at two supernova remnants in this study. Cassiopeia A, and the substantially less massive Taurus A (Crab nebula). The latter occurred about 900 years ago, as opposed to ~ 300 years for the former. It seems reasonable that In the older explosion, the elements, includin... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 5 April, 2018, 19:07
In a galaxy of several hundred BILLION stars there is no conceivable way that 20,000 could be considered "lots and lots".
Comment icon #9 Posted by Ozfactor on 6 April, 2018, 9:33
They don't have to land on our doorsteps , just a sign, a message to let us know we are not alone . For all we knowthey are sending messages but we just don't have the technologyto realise it . Yet For all we know
Comment icon #10 Posted by Harte on 10 April, 2018, 21:47
IIRC, the reason for this in the Foundation series was that time travelling robots went back and prevented alien intelligence because it led to troubles for humanity, which the robots had no choice but to protect. Harte
Comment icon #11 Posted by Piney on 10 April, 2018, 21:49
That was "Robots and Dawn" if I remember correctly.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Harte on 10 April, 2018, 22:24
What nerds we be. Harte


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6165788
262536
174742

 
New species of 'exploding ant' discovered
4-20-2018
Capable of taking drastic action to protect their colonies, these ants have a rather unusual defense mechanism.
Missing Nazi submarine mystery finally solved
4-20-2018
The wreckage of one of Germany's most advanced U-boats has been discovered off the coast of Denmark.
Mutation helps Bajau people stay underwater
4-19-2018
In a rare case of natural selection in modern humans, the free-diving Bajau people have developed a larger spleen.
NASA teases plans for nuclear power in space
4-19-2018
The space agency will be revealing new details of its 'Kilopower' system at the beginning of next month.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Revealing the secrets of the deep ocean
Posted 4-19-2018 | 0 comments
Scientist Mandy Joye has dedicated her life to exploring the depths of the world's oceans.
 
Giant 3D-printed man
Posted 4-15-2018 | 2 comments
British YouTuber James Bruton has created a giant 3D-printed sculpture of himself.
 
The world's roundest object
Posted 4-12-2018 | 2 comments
A look at how the roundest object can help us to define the humble kilogram.
 
Do fish talk to each other ?
Posted 4-10-2018 | 11 comments
Fish might seem silent, but in actual fact they make a wide range of different sounds.
 
The great Jaffa Cake debate
Posted 4-8-2018 | 4 comments
Revisiting the age-old question - is the humble Jaffa Cake a cake or a biscuit ?
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Dreams and clues to the future
3-31-2018 | Philippines and Germany
 
Black cloaked figure
3-31-2018 | Carlisle, Cumbria, England
 
Three knocks
3-8-2018 | Canada
 
Two shadows of me
3-8-2018 | Bellflower, LA
 
I think I know what I saw
3-5-2018 | Near Sultan, Washington
 
Ghost, or something else ?
3-5-2018 | Ohio, USA
 
 
Black hole in Bismarck
2-14-2018 | Mandan
 
 
Trapped and chased
2-9-2018 | Saskatchewan canada
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ