If astronomers can’t find life elsewhere in the Universe yet, who says that some ingredients for life cannot be right in the sights of their powerful telescopes? Material that surrounds some stars can emit light that can be exploited by scientists in ways that few would have guessed.
According to SciTechDaily.com, a new study led by Dr. John Ilee from the University of Leeds reveals that “significant reservoirs” of large organic molecules needed for the formation of the basis of life were found near young stars.
Protoplanetary disks surrounding young stars show the presence of large organic molecules
Dr. John Ilee declared, as quoted by SciTechDaily.com:
These large complex organic molecules are found in various environments throughout space. Laboratory and theoretical studies have suggested that these molecules are the ‘raw ingredients’ for building molecules that are essential components in biological chemistry on Earth, creating sugars, amino acids, and even the components of ribonucleic acid (RNA) under the right conditions.
However, many of the environments where we find these complex organic molecules are pretty far removed from where and when we think planets form. We wanted to understand more about where exactly, and how much of, these molecules were present in the birthplaces of planets – protoplanetary disks.
Data collected by the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope was used for the program known as “Molecules with ALMA at Planet-forming Scales” (MAPS).
Lead author Dr. John Ilee is even optimistic to believe that the discovery is a hint that the basic chemicals that led to the emergence of life on Earth could be found throughout the Milky Way.
However, the world is still far from finding alien life anywhere in the Universe.
The new study is awaited for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.