Our galaxy is not so much welcome for life as it used to be. Cosmic radiation, supernova explosions, collisions between solar systems, and everything else makes our galaxy (Milky Way) a hell of a place for any biology. However, a detailed computer simulation locates several good places for life in our neighborhood.
To support life as we know it, these planets should have liquid water and orbit at the right place of the solar system, not too close, not too far from its star. Similarly, life will not appear or survive long in the vicinity of the center of the galaxy. Here, in the center of the galaxy, there is a high density of stars that over time can explode and “spark” the possible ozone shells of the planets, and then they are exposed to huge radiation.
In this new study, researchers led by physicist Duncan Fordan of the University of St. Andrews in Britain focused on regions far from the center of the galaxy. They used a computer simulation to model the entire Milky Way, as well as nearby galaxies like Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies. They simulated the distribution of gas, stars, and planetary systems in that huge nebula from planetary bodies. They calculated the evolution of the galaxies for billions of years while mapping the zones where life is suitable.
“We are the first to see how history affects galaxies and their ability to develop life.”
For each type of star in the simulation, Forgan and his colleagues calculated the possibilities to develop rocky planets that would be similar to Earth or would be impossible for lifelike
Mercury. They also calculated the chance to form giant planets that are as large as Neptune that would form near a star and which would “help” to develop a life on the nearby planet, as on Earth.
Simulation, not surprisingly, has shown that potential life-pleasing planets can form away from zones that are in conglomerates of stars, where the likelihood of supernova is greater. This means the formation of planets suitable for life in places where there is no high density of stars.
Observations from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope show that many stars have planets that are at the “right” distance of their stars. But it is not only crucial for a planet to be suitable for life. The simulation shows that much of the planets located closer to the center of the galaxy are less likely to develop life, those who are on the brink of the galaxy are more likely to develop planets that are suitable for life, says the paper published in International Journal of Astrobiology.
Modeling has shown that not only the stars but the evolution of galaxies have an impact on the whole process.