After the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago, various celestial bodies and materials have appeared continuously in the long years as the universe continues to expand. Among the many things born, the most mysterious and mysterious should be life.
The earth is a beautiful planet of life. In addition to millions of life species, intelligent human beings were also born. Although until now, we have not discovered other cosmic life besides life on earth, but beyond seeing the vast universe, there is basically no doubt about the existence of extraterrestrial life.
If there are many kinds of life in the universe, are the forms of life and other characteristics the same as life on earth? Before answering this question, let us first understand what life is? The definition of life has different meanings from different perspectives, and our general definition of life is that life refers to a method that can complete its own growth, reproduction, metabolism and other biological functions by exchanging substances and energy with the outside world. Individuals who can adapt to changes in the external environment and react to stress.
The exchange of information, the ability to evolve, the reproduction of life, and the metabolism are all characteristics of life, and the carbon element in the life form of the earth occupies a dominant position, so life on the earth can also be called carbon-based life. It is not difficult to speculate that in the vast universe, in addition to carbon-based life like the Earth, there should be many other life forms, such as silicon-based life.
When we discuss the possibility of life on planets, we often ignore the particularly powerful type of celestial stars in the universe. In the eyes of many people, a star is a very hot fireball, with intense nuclear fusion always going on inside. It is impossible for such a powerful star to have life on it, so naturally the possibility of life on the sun is excluded.
So is there really no special life in a star like the sun? With the continuous advancement of human science and technology and the continuous improvement of life cognition, stars that used to believe that life could not exist, now some scientists also believe that it is possible. If there is life in a star like the sun, what kind of life form will it be?
This kind of life can be called a plasma life body. The so-called plasma refers to an ionized gaseous form when a substance is at a sufficiently high temperature. It is a substance in addition to solid, liquid and gaseous forms. The fourth form outside.
The sun and other stars themselves have very high temperatures, so the matter on the stars is basically plasma. In the past, scientists did not think that plasma could become life, but in 2003, the research team of physicist Mels Sandurovich of the University of Cusa pointed out that there can be a high degree of existence in plasma. Spontaneous structure of order. In the experiment, they placed two electrodes in a chamber filled with argon plasma. After applying strong electricity, they discovered a special kind of “plasma bubble.”
Scientists have discovered that each “plasma bubble” is a self-enclosed system. They have two layers of boundaries that are isolated from the outside world. The outer layer is composed of negatively charged electrons, and the inner layer is composed of positively charged ions. According to observations, in a suitable electromagnetic environment, these “plasma bubbles” can absorb neutral argon atoms from the outside and decompose them into electrons and ions, thereby allowing themselves to “grow”, and when their individuals are large enough, They can also be divided into two to complete the replication of individuals.
Growth and replication are some of the characteristics of life, but plasma has such characteristics. What’s more attractive is that scientists have also discovered that these individuals can emit electromagnetic waves to other nearby “plasma bubbles”, thereby causing them to vibrate at a specific frequency. , Which shows that there is the ability to transfer information between them.
The ability to transmit information is an important feature similar to life. Of course, relying on these alone, we cannot be sure that plasma can become life, and they have the potential to form life. After scientists discovered these important life characteristics of plasma, they continued to study and explore.
In 2014, a research team led by Gregor Moffel, a physicist at the Max Planck Institute’s Institute of Extraterrestrial Physics, made another major discovery. Under proper conditions, the particles in the plasma can spontaneously form filaments. Like structures, these filamentous structures will attract and entangle each other to form a double helix structure similar to DNA.
Researchers have discovered that this complex double helix structure has the possibility of information encoding, and can also produce changes through interaction. In this process, those unstable structures will re-decompose over time, and those stable structures Will be preserved, which means that they have shown evolutionary characteristics.
Through the continuous deepening of plasma research, scientists increasingly feel that the possibility of plasma life is very high. If this conjecture is true, then these special plasma life in the universe may be very many, and even occupy the mainstream of life in the universe.
The reason is simple, because 99% of the visible matter in the universe is plasma, even if a small part can become plasma life, then this will be a very large number. Correspondingly, carbon-based life like life on earth may be very rare in the universe.
Each life form can only survive in a specific environment. For example, carbon-based life on earth can only survive in an ecological environment like the earth, and it is possible to give birth to carbon in terrestrial planets that are very similar to the earth. Base life. However, in the universe, terrestrial planets that are very similar to the earth are very rare. At present, scientists have observed a range of a hundred light-years around the earth, and only a few terrestrial planets similar to the earth have been discovered.
Whether there is such an incredible plasma life in the universe is still only a guess of scientists. In the future, we want to explore this secret and find evidence of the existence of plasma life. Our key exploration target is the stellar sun. As long as we have the ability to freely enter and exit the sun, it is possible to explore plasma life inside the sun.
However, it may take a long time for mankind to realize such technological strength. Prior to this, the pace of human exploration of extraterrestrial life will not stop, and in the infinite future, mankind will inevitably be able to see the rich and colorful universe of life. At that time, perhaps we can recognize the various life forms of the universe. Even if we can discover a large number of extraterrestrial life in the future, if plasma life does exist, it must be a very special kind of existence in the universe.