If we take a look at the tremendous wealthiness of only our Galaxy, common sense tells us that the Universe should be thriving with life. Although there are trillions of galaxies and each of them having billions of stars, there’s still no one hundred percent proof that aliens are there somewhere and staring at us through powerful telescopes as we play backgammon.
The Universe is currently 13.7 billion years old. It surely sounds like an eternity for us humans, but in some odd sense, the Universe is actually young. This means that it will keep on living for other billion if not even trillions of years more. But plenty of scientists had been asking themselves how this aging will impact the emergence of various life forms. Luckily or not, we finally have an answer.
Chances for life to exist decrease as the Universe gets older
We can expect fewer groups and civilizations of little green men (or any other alien life forms) in the future than there are (supposedly) now. A team of Aussie researchers were the ones that came with the conclusion. They are relying on the idea that rocky exoplanets that formed early in a galaxy’s life had a better chance of having a magnetic field and plate tectonics, as these are considered favorable to the supporting of life.
Craig O’Neill, who is a professor at Macquarie University, said:
Plate tectonics is important for habitability, and it looks like the optimum conditions for plate tectonics existed for planets forming early in the galaxy’s lifespan, and may be unlikely to easily recur,
He further explained:
If there’s no magnetic field, the planet is not shielded from solar radiation and will tend to lose its atmosphere. So, life becomes difficult to sustain. A planet needs to be lucky to have the right position and the right geochemistry at the right time if it’s going to sustain life.
The findings were recently presented during the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference by Craig O’Neill.