New study by the University of Kent astrophysicists discloses essential hints about the major role of recycling in our universe in the creation of life.
By examining the different phases in the stars’ life journey and attaining new knowledge related to their evolutionary cycle, researchers at the Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science have found more about a vital phase in the surfacing of life in our universe. For the first time, their study shows how matter abandoned as stars die is reprocessed to create new planets and stars.
Researchers have long known that the substances that create human life were not there at the time of the universe’s beginnings. Components such as oxygen and carbon form deep within stars and are emitted when the stars blow up. What has not been certain is what takes place with these substances in the abundance of stars which do not blow up and how they are then removed to add to the creation of new biospheres and planets.
In their paper “Numerical simulations of wind-driven protoplanetary nebulae — I. near-infrared emission,” which was posted by the Royal Astronomical Society, Ph.D. student Igor Novikov and Professor Michael Smith have found this essential missing link. By performing out 2D modeling on their supercomputer (Forge), which scanned the pattern of light given out from stars below different environmental circumstances, the study team was capable of understanding how the material discarded is mixed and transferred with interstellar gas to create new planets.
On a related note, in a recent paper, researchers at Harvard University define a lower, new size limit for planets to sustain surface liquid water for longer time periods, expanding the supposed “Goldilocks” or Habitable Zone for low-gravity, small planets. This study extends the search region for life in the universe and solves the mystery on the essential process of atmospheric development on small planets.