Most scientists agree that the Universe should be teeming with life, as there are trillions of galaxies out there. But so far, humanity failed completely in finding any extraterrestrial friends. While quitting isn’t an option, finding organic compounds is also a good step forward.
Although we’re tempted to imagine alien life as we’ve all seen it in sci-fi movies, the truth can be a lot different. Simple organisms similar to microbes we find on Earth can also exist on other planets, and they would still qualify as aliens.
Thumbs up for Serpens SMM1-a and IRAS 16293B
Serpens SMM1-a and IRAS 16293B are two protostars where astronomers found evidence of the prebiotic molecules methyl isocyanate and glycolonitrile, according to Space.com. Prebiotics are the precursors of a variety of molecular tools that store, transport, and release energy. As the name itself suggests, a protostar is a star in the process of formation.
Scientists had been using the Atacama Large Milimeter/sub-milimeter Array (ALMA) from Chile, and further studied the light coming from the protostars that hold clues to many kinds of elements and molecules that had their own type of wavelength. The astronomers were able to find the prebiotics after comparing the wavelengths to the known emissions of various elements.
The next step we can hope for is that those protostars will also give birth to planets that will also have other essential tools for hosting life.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is the largest astronomical project in the present – a single telescope designed in a revolutionary way and composed of 66 high precision antennas mounted on the Chajnantor Plateau, meaning 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile.
The new research was published in the preprint journal arXiv.