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Life in the Galaxy: computer models find unexpected discoveries

Life in the Galaxy: computer models find unexpected discoveries

The astrobiologists study spiral galaxies and exoplanets that are in the process of merging with smaller galaxies. The scientists have discovered that there are rocky exoplanets that could have formed at the beginning of the formation of the galaxy. They had a greater chance of developing a magnetic field and tectonic features than planets that were formed much later. These conditions are considered as favorable for the emergence of life.

And this may mean: if life in the Galaxy exists, then it could have arisen earlier on those planets that were formed a very long time ago. And young planets are less likely to develop life. Leading researcher at the Center for Planetary Research, Macquarie Craig Onil, believes that tectonic plate mobility is important in creating habitat for the planet.

Exoplanets rotate in the orbit of distant stars, and they cause great interest among the scientists, if only because they can have life. But exoplanets are very far away, and the astronomers do not have a sufficient information about them. But with the help of computer modeling, you can understand some of their factors, such as position, temperature, geochemistry.

Using processors from the Australian National Computing Infrastructure, a team of scientists has created a huge simulation of planetary development. The researchers were able to show that early planets had a tendency to develop tectonics, that is favorable for the development of life. Tectonics has become a definite thermostat for the Earth.

It created the conditions due to that a planet with a small amount of iron in the core was able to develop tectonics. In planets formed later, tectonic activity is not observed. And it means that they do not have a built-in thermostat, which affects the formation of the magnetic field, hindering its development.

In the absence of a magnetic field, the planet cannot protect itself from the ultraviolet radiation of the Sun and does not have an atmosphere. The scientist concluded basing on their research that life on the planet can form in a certain period in the presence of related factors.

Among them, not only a successful location of the planet, but also the correct geochemistry, geology, chemical balance. These conditions are very rare in our galaxy.