“detected towards a region where planets orbiting newly formed stars are expected to exist..”

Galaxy evolution

[Image of red spiral galaxy (c), flanked by blue spiral (l) and red elliptical galaxies (r)]. Some astronomical news [For a change.. – Ed]. That missing toolbag has been spotted [new link] and is, apparently, visible from Earth. The missing spider? Not so much.. but they have an extra day to look for it. And the Galaxy Zoo project identifies how galaxies get older.. and redder.. Plus astronomers have detected organic molecules in a star-forming, and likely planet-forming, region called G31.41+031, about 26,000 light years away. Oh, and here’s that toolbag. Video: Keven Fetter.

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  • Ulsters my homeland

    Hi Pete. as you’re obviously big into space, numbers, etc, what percentage would you give that conditions to support life is widely available in our universe?

  • Pete Baker

    Whatever those odds were, UMH, they’ve gotten better after the detection of organic molecules noted in the post.

  • ulsters my homeland

    Better for what Pete? detection of ????…..

  • Pete Baker

    Sorry, UMH, wasn’t that clear?

    The odds are better that “conditions to support life is widely available in our universe”.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    ‘organic molecules’..how do they suggest life is further afield that the galaxy as we know it?

  • joeCanuck

    You’re changing the goalposts UMH. First you said the Universe now you’re restricting it to our galaxy which is, so far as I know, part of our universe.

  • Hbf

    Ulsters my homeland,

    if you define “widely available” as meaning “lots of it around,” then it’s pretty likely that there are conditions to suppport life in many different places (because the universe is so big, chances are that if it happened here on earth, it’s likely to have happened on many other planets and bodies in space). That’s not saying that there are any in a position close enough to the earth for us to detect it – it’s just that in all the vastness of space, it’s likely to happen somewhere. Remember, most of what is visible to us on earth is stars, and we have to predict the presence of planets close by them by guessing, so finding these conditions isn’t likely.

  • Greenflag

    jc ,

    ‘you’re restricting it to our galaxy which is, so far as I know, part of our universe.’

    That it is – along with a few billion other galaxies the nearest of which I believe is the Andromeda some 2 million light years away . Some of the ‘ advanced ‘ assemblages of organic molecules in the homo sapiens format seem to believe that we are in the midst of billions of galaxies special in that we are the apex of creation . They won’t be saying that in 100 million years when we’ll already have been extinct for 96 million years 🙂

  • Comrade Stalin

    UMH, I hope you’re not doing the creationist trolling thing. If so, it’s a pretty miserable effort.

    Life on other planets is certainly possible, but I don’t think it’s probable. Even if we look at all the other planets in the solar system, none are even faintly close to supporting life (although there has been speculation about what might lie under Europa’s vast ice sheets). Life on earth is the result of a long series of coincidences – our atmosphere, for example, which is a function of the size of the planet, distance from the sun, etc. Change any one of those parameters and you end up with an uninhabitable barren rock, like Venus or Mars.

    Coincidence is always probable, but is it likely ? I tend to think less so.