General, Research, Technology

Why does the new discovery of biologists put an end to the search for alien life?

Dallol Volcano in Northern Ethiopia - One of the Mostalien places on Earth, whose red-hot landscape is surrounded by unearthly greenery and the bright yellow color of hydrothermal pools, considered one of the most extreme environments on our planet. Despite all its picturesqueness, the surroundings of the volcano are an extremely dangerous place for the existence of even those living organisms that have long and successfully been able to adapt to the survival in super-hot and extremely acidic conditions of some places on our planet. According to the information portal livescience.org, it is this fact that can fundamentally change the idea of ​​scientists about the possibility of life on other planets, completely erasing the hopes of mankind for finding “brothers in mind”.

The surroundings of Dallol Volcano are a beautiful but very dangerous place.

Is there life on other planets?

To find out if life canexist in one of the most extreme places on our planet, researchers took samples from several pools of water located near the Dallol volcano. It is known that local reservoirs containing a high concentration of salt differ from each other in a number of important parameters, among which the most significant are temperature, acidity and alkalinity. During the chemical analysis of the reservoirs, it turned out that some of them were overfilled with sodium chloride, while others contained a high concentration of magnesium-based salt, which can destroy the cell membrane of living organisms.

See also: Curiosity recorded an increase in oxygen concentration on Mars

In such extreme conditions, differentDue to the high level of acidity and the content of magnesium salts, the researchers were unable to detect any traces of living microorganisms, which suggests that the presence of liquid water on the planet does not make it a potentially habitable place. However, using electron microscopes, the researchers were able to detect the presence in the water bodies of the so-called biomorphs or mineral deposits that mimic tiny cells. Scientists can find similar inanimate structures on Mars, mistakenly mistaking them for micro-fossils.

Despite such depressing results, inCurrently, scientists distinguish several planets at once, on which a hypothetical life can develop. The planet Kepler-62e is considered the most viable of all, whose Earth similarity index is 0.83 out of 1.00. Despite the fact that the planet has received such high recognition, its large size and rather low density make the Kepler-62e a world completely covered by water with a rocky bottom and an average surface temperature of approximately 17 degrees Celsius.

Perhaps this is what the Kepler-62e ocean planet looks like

Although exoplanet founda large amount of water, a study by experts from the Spanish Center for Astrobiology regarding the existence of life near the Dallol volcano in Ethiopia could disrupt the scientists’ plans to find at least the simplest life in this world 1,200 light-years distant from us.

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A similar exoplanet may beKepler-22b, whose Earth similarity index is currently 0.75. Located 620 light years from our planet, the Kepler-22b is a huge ocean with a small core in the center. For a long time there has been discussion about the possibility of life in such a large-scale ocean, however, in order to acknowledge or deny the possibility of its existence, astronomers have yet to study the composition of its atmosphere using the James Webb telescope, whose launch in outer space is scheduled for March 2021.