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Alien life in our galaxy 'more likely' than thought

By T.K. Randall
September 16, 2021 · Comment icon 51 comments

Our galaxy appears to be full of the ingredients for life. Image Credit: Nick Risinger
Scientists now believe that the odds of finding alien life in the Milky Way are far higher than anyone had realized.
According to a new study headed up by Dr John Ilee at the University of Leeds, the basic chemical conditions responsible for giving rise to life on Earth are now thought to be a lot more common in the Milky Way than previously believed.

To determine this, the researchers used data from the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (Alma) telescope in Chile to study the discs of material surrounding young stars.

These discs, which will one day form new planets, were found to contain large amounts of the precursor molecules needed to form the more complex molecules required for life to develop.

"Alma has allowed us to look for these molecules in the innermost regions of these disks, on size scales similar to our solar system, for the first time," said Dr Ilee.
"Our analysis shows that the molecules are primarily located in these inner regions with abundances between 10 and 100 times higher than models had predicted."

Intriguingly, these disc regions are also where comets and asteroids form, meaning that these molecules could also be carried large distances and deposited on other planets as well.

"The key result of this work shows that the same ingredients needed for seeding life on our planet are also found around other stars," said Dr Catherine Walsh.

"It is possible that the molecules that are needed to kickstart life on planets are readily available in all planet-forming environments."

Source: MSN | Comments (51)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #42 Posted by Mr Walker 3 years ago
And that is all the evidence  we need to know it is possible. Thus NASA now predicts that up to 50% of "habitable" planets in the galaxy will have  some form of life on them  The probability  comes from two things  A growing appreciation of how many goldilocks planets there are, and an understanding  that,  given the right conditions, life is almost inevitable over time (intelligent /self aware life may be less common, but probably is also an almost inevitable product of evolution. It is a kind of false pride which makes humans think we are unique or special.  The tipping point will... [More]
Comment icon #43 Posted by Mr Walker 3 years ago
Oh yes, because humans have the same innate intelligence now, in the past, and in the future, an individual could learn, adapt and be taught  But it would be hard fort hem to work out anything without  instruction eg imagine a  person from  200 years ago figuring out the y had to say  "Put  the lights on, Siri"   in order to illuminate  a room   or for us to work out we only had to think the same words to have the same effect in a house of the future  (IF our minds had been   "read into" the computer controlling the lighting so tha t only the owners of the house could operate i... [More]
Comment icon #44 Posted by jmccr8 3 years ago
Hi Walker Not sure what you are saying, someone from 200 years ago would not be speaking a lost language and Siri is available all over the world to people that speak every language on this planet. The 200 year old person not much unlike your 500 year old person already knows how to speak and likely has enough life experience to work out how some things work just through observation. I have never used Siri or Alexa and have both in my home but do know that if I saw someone flip a switch on a wall and lights came on then it wouldn't be to hard to figure out. The way you word things makes it sou... [More]
Comment icon #45 Posted by Mr Walker 3 years ago
But the person would not KNOW to speak a command aloud, until told this was what one did.  Likewise for most things, including how to turn on lights the old fashioned way  Nothing to do with intelligence. All to do with KNOWLEDGE  You or i might survive in Sherwood forest 1000 years ago but most modern humans could not.  Could the y make a bow  shoot an arrow accurately  or even set snares  Once TAUGHT a person can survive in most times and places  But many things cant be learned without a teacher   To go back to my original point. WHO was there to teach peole not to believe in gods ... [More]
Comment icon #46 Posted by jmccr8 3 years ago
Hi Walker What part of we all have to learn how to do things escapes you? If a person speaks a language then they will be easily taught. We are discussing people from the past going to the future. No one has to teach anyone not to believe in god as one can reason it out for themselves Which has absolutely nothing to do with what we are talking about.
Comment icon #47 Posted by ChrLzs 3 years ago
Could this be the most repeated sentiment on UM?  That and the goalpost shifts... are why the Ignore function exists. .. just sayin'..
Comment icon #48 Posted by Nobu 3 years ago
It’s interesting… im not going into the numbers because it would bore 90 percent of you and 9 percent would argue with a dead raccoon. BUT…. life is either very very very common- so common it’s scary. Or very very very very rare which is more scary. that’s what a constant called “infinity” does with space.
Comment icon #49 Posted by ChrLzs 3 years ago
Huh.  Would not.
Comment icon #50 Posted by Golden Duck 3 years ago
I suspect you won't go into the numbers for an alternative reason.  It has something to do with infinity not being a constant.
Comment icon #51 Posted by Nuclear Wessel 3 years ago
He just needs attention. That's all.

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