JUL 08, 2016 10:19 AM PDT

Did Planets of Diamond Host the Universe's First Life Forms?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Life is a huge question in our universe. It can be difficult to grasp exactly how life started, and how it originated here on Earth to become as complex as it is today, but one thing that scientists seem to agree on is that we can’t be the only forms of life in our entire universe.
 
Alien life more than likely exists elsewhere in our universe, and we have yet to spot it yet. It could exist in many forms, whether simple or complex, but one thing scientists seem to agree on is that life forms are going to be found on planets with strong carbon signatures.
 

The universe's earliest signs of life probably originated from high-carbon systems.

 Image Credit: NASA/SDO

In fact, the origin of ancient alien life, which helped make life in our universe possible today, probably stemmed from carbon planets made of some sort of carbide, diamond, or graphite substances.
 
The hypothesis comes from a study conducted by Harvard University astronomers who understood that the early universe lacked carbon materials. Their research is available on arXiv.org and has been accepted by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
 
"This work shows that even stars with a tiny fraction of the carbon in our solar system can host planets," says lead author and Harvard University graduate student Natalie Mashian. "We have good reason to believe that alien life will be carbon-based, like life on Earth, so this also bodes well for the possibility of life in the early universe.”
 
The early universe didn’t have dense elements; it had lighter ones like hydrogen and helium, and it wasn’t until stars created with these elements exploded and left their mark that heavier elements like carbon were actually formed.
 
These denser elements would eventually form together to create the life-supporting planets that served as jumping platforms for what we have today.
 
Part of the research conducted involved taking a look at older stars that still exist today, known as Carbon-Enhanced Metal-Poor (CEMP) stars. They lack iron, having only as much as 0.00001 times the iron, but they have a very high carbon footprint.
 
These stars have the potential to form carbon-based planets when their time comes to actually explode, and likely served as the point of origin for early life in our universe.
 
After the carbon was left in interstellar space following the supernova explosion, gravity eventually took its course and sucked it all up into a massive floating glob in space, which over time, formed a planet.
 
The research goes on to explain that we will have the best chance of finding alien life in systems where stars hosting planets have higher carbon footprints. Stars with less carbon will form planets out of other elements that aren’t essential to carbon-based life forms, and are probably less likely to host life.

Source: EurkAlert

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 06, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
JWST Captures the Cartwheel Galaxy in Detail
AUG 06, 2022
JWST Captures the Cartwheel Galaxy in Detail
On December 25, 2021, the most expensive telescope, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) ever built was launched ...
SEP 06, 2022
Space & Astronomy
NASA Rocket Mission Launched to Test New X-ray Detector Technology
SEP 06, 2022
NASA Rocket Mission Launched to Test New X-ray Detector Technology
On August 21st, a NASA-funded sounding rocket mission launched from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The goal of ...
OCT 01, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Climate Change Will Affect Ground-Based Astronomical Observatories
OCT 01, 2022
Climate Change Will Affect Ground-Based Astronomical Observatories
In a paper recently published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, astronomers at the University of Bern stress that anthrop ...
OCT 25, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Detection of the Brightest Gamma-Ray Burst Ever
OCT 25, 2022
Detection of the Brightest Gamma-Ray Burst Ever
On October 9, 2022, telescopes detected one of the brightest gamma-ray bursts ever! A gamma-ray burst (GRB) is an extrem ...
OCT 31, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Long-Term International Space Station Experiment Highlights Risks for Future Human Spaceflight
OCT 31, 2022
Long-Term International Space Station Experiment Highlights Risks for Future Human Spaceflight
In a recent study published in Heliyon, an international team of researchers led by Osaka City University in Japan exami ...
NOV 18, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Can You Stand on This Star?
NOV 18, 2022
Can You Stand on This Star?
Polarized X-ray light from a magnetar has been observed for the first time ever and the results have been published in a ...
Loading Comments...