The conversation about whether there could be life, as we know it, on other planets in our galaxy, is something that has made many people wonder. While the idea may seem like something out of a movie or something better fit for science fiction, but now science is getting closer to understanding that this might just be a distinct possibility. Tiago Campante, the research leader of the University of Birmingham, is one of those people.
“We now know that Earth-sized planets have formed throughout most of the Universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, which could provide scope for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy,” he said. He continued on by pointing out that “It is extraordinary that such an ancient system of terrestrial-sized planets formed when the universe was just starting out, at a fifth its current age.” That’s where Kepler-444 comes into the conversation. A similar system to our own, featuring a powerful star at the center, and several planets that could very easily feature the same type of life that we’re used to here on Earth. However, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that life exists in those far-reaching places. Instead, it merely suggests that some of the similar life-like features could exist – that we have grown accustomed to.
That being said, it’s worth noting that the star in question which was recently discovered by these scientists is 11.2 billion years old. That means it’s significantly older than our own sun, which dates our solar system back slightly more than 4 billion years. That being said though while scientists aren’t ruling out that life couldn’t have ever happened on any of these so-called Earth-like planets – they strongly doubt it. The researchers noted that “While this star formed a long time ago, in fact before most of the stars in the Milky Way, we have no indication that any of these planets have now or ever had life on them.” They go on to point out that the orbit distances at which these planets have taken simply would not support the level of life that we are used to here on Earth – unless life was comprised of significantly different components.
It isn’t necessarily this exact instance which scientists are basing their notion that life could actually exist. Rather scientists are looking at the structure of this system and understanding that under these circumstances, this system lends quite the indication that life could very-well exist in some instances, in another location within space. It isn’t as much an answer to the extraterrestrial life debate, but rather another instance of evidence to eventually help scientists and astronomers come to some kind of answer on the subject.