TNRTB Archive - Retained for reference information
A team of German and American astronomers has found more evidence that possible life sites in the universe must be rare. They used hydrodynamical simulations (a modeling technique) to establish that merger events between spiral galaxies (which were frequent when the universe was young) fuel powerful bursts of star formation. These bursts exhaust so much gas and dust that they lead to the termination of any significant future star formation. Such nearly complete termination of star formation implies that the galaxies that emerge from such merger events are devoid of stars born late enough in cosmic history that they can generate planets. The study confirms that planets are relatively rare in the universe. Given that a planet capable of supporting life must manifest dozens of extraordinarily fine-tuned characteristics, Earth’s capacity to support life cannot be reasonably attributed to chance.
o Volker Springel, Tiziana Di Matteo, and Lars Hernquist, “Black Holes in Galaxy Mergers: The Formation of Red Elliptical Galaxies,” Astrophysical Journal Letters 620 (2005): L79-L82.
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