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
MAR 11, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Generating Human Tissues in Space
MAR 11, 2020
Generating Human Tissues in Space
Researchers from the University of Zurich are studying how weightlessness impacts the production of human tissue.
MAR 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA is Sending This Golden Box to Mars to Make Oxygen
MAR 29, 2020
NASA is Sending This Golden Box to Mars to Make Oxygen
NASA’s Perseverance rover, formerly known as just the Mars 2020 rover, will do quite a bit more than merely drive ...
APR 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Three New Crew Members Arrive at the International Space Station
APR 12, 2020
Three New Crew Members Arrive at the International Space Station
The International Space Station received three new crew members this past week following extensive pre-quarantine measur ...
APR 17, 2020
Cancer
Can astronauts withstand radiation on a mission to Mars?
APR 17, 2020
Can astronauts withstand radiation on a mission to Mars?
New research published in the journal Science Advances attempts to model the risk of cancer that astronauts will incur f ...
MAY 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Science Behind Eclipses
MAY 19, 2020
The Science Behind Eclipses
A particularly convenient coincidence exists between the relative sizes of the Sun and the Moon, and their distance from ...
JUN 01, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why SpaceX's Demo-2 Launch This Past Weekend Was So Significant
JUN 01, 2020
Why SpaceX's Demo-2 Launch This Past Weekend Was So Significant
If you somehow managed to miss the exciting news this past weekend, NASA and SpaceX set an important precedent in Americ ...
Loading Comments...