We Figured Out A New Place Where We Might Find Aliens
Binary stars are this good spot to find new life, it seems.
When it comes to the search for life in space we are rather self-centered also because the only life we know and that we can imagine is the one that is on this lost space rock called Earth. So, also as a matter of narrowing the field, we started looking exclusively for star systems with stars similar to ours and presumably with planets that could resemble ours. But now new research from the University of Copenhagen suggests that binary stars are very interesting systems from the point of view of the search for life in the cosmos:
“The result is exciting as the search for extraterrestrial life will be equipped with a number of extremely powerful new tools in the coming years. This increases the significance of understanding how planets form around different types of stars. Such results can pinpoint locations that would be particularly interesting to probe the existence of life, “says professor Jes Kristian Jørgensen, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, who heads the project.
The research was based on data from ALMA telescopes in Chile, on a young binary star just 1,000 light years from Earth. We tried to make a simulation of what will happen to the disk of dust and gas that surrounds the two stars and that will form the system:
“The falling material will trigger significant warming. The heat will make the star much brighter than usual,” says Rajika L. Kuruwita, adding:
“These explosions will tear apart the disk of gas and dust. As the disk accumulates again, the explosions could still affect the structure of the next planetary system”.
ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array) is not a single instrument but 66 telescopes operating in coordination. This allows for much better resolution than could have been achieved with a single telescope. Very soon the new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will join the search for extraterrestrial life and then perhaps, finally, we will arrive at a definitive answer on this issue.