Astronomy A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE EIGHTH

Astronomy A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE EIGHTH

Astronomy A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE EIGHTH EDITION CHAPTER 18 Life in the Universe Lecture Presentation 2017 Pearson Education, Inc.

Chapter 18 Life in the Universe 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. Units of Chapter 18 Cosmic Evolution

Life in the Solar System Intelligent Life in the Galaxy The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Summary of Chapter 18 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution If we are going to be looking for life elsewhere in the universe, we need to define what we mean by life. It turns out not to be so easy, particularly if we want to allow for types of life that do not appear on Earth!

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution These are some generally agreed-upon characteristics that any life-form should have: Ability to react to environment Ability to grow by taking in nourishment and processing it into energy Ability to reproduce, with offspring having some characteristics of the parent Ability to evolve

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution The image below shows the seven phases of cosmic evolution. We have already discussed particulate, galactic, stellar, and planetary, and will continue with chemical evolution. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution

We have very little information about the first billion years of Earths existence; Earth was simply too active at that time. It is believed that there were many volcanoes and an atmosphere of hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon compounds. As Earth cooled, methane, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and water formed. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution

Earth was subject to volcanoes, lightning, radioactivity, ultraviolet radiation, and meteoroid impacts. Over a billion years or so, amino acids and nucleotide bases, which form the basis of DNA, formed. The process by which this happens has been recreated in the laboratory.

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution This is a schematic of the Urey-Miller experiment, first done in the 1930s, which demonstrated the formation of amino acids from the gases present in Earths early atmosphere, excited by

lightning. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution This image shows protein-like droplets created from clusters of billions of amino acid molecules. These droplets can grow, and can split into smaller

droplets. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution On the left are primitive fossils displaying spheres found in 2-billion-year-old sediments. On the right is living algae. Both resemble

the droplets in the previous image. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution It is also possible that the source of complex organic molecules could be from outside Earth, on meteorites or comets. This image shows

droplets rich in amino acids, formed when a freezing mix of primordial matter was subjected to harsh ultraviolet radiation. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution This meteorite, which fell in Australia, contains 12 different amino acids found in Earthly life, although some of them are slightly different in form.

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.1 Cosmic Evolution Simple one-celled creatures, such as algae, appeared on Earth about 3.5 billion years ago. More complex one-celled creatures, such as the amoeba, appeared about 2 billion years ago. Multicellular organisms began to appear about 1 billion years ago. The entirety of human civilization has been created in the last 10,000 years.

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.2 Life in the Solar System Life as we know it is carbon-based and originated in liquid water. Is such life likely to be found elsewhere in our solar system? Best bet: Mars. Long shots: Europa, Titan. Other places are all but ruled out.

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.2 Life in the Solar System What about alternative biochemistries? Some have suggested that life could be based on silicon rather than carbon, as it has similar chemistry. Or the liquid could be ammonia or methane rather than water. However, silicon is much less likely to form complex molecules, and liquid ammonia or methane would be very cold, making chemical reactions proceed very slowly.

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy The Drake equation, illustrated here, is a series of estimates of factors that must be present for a longlasting technological civilization to arise. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy Drake equation:

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy The rate of star formation: 10 stars per year (dividing population of Milky Way by its present age) Fraction of stars having planetary systems: Most planetary systems like our own have not been detected yet, but we would expect to be able to detect them using current methods. We expect most star systems to have formed planets as well, and assign this factor a value near 1.

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy Number of habitable planets per planetary system: Probably only significant around A-, F-, G-, and K-type stars. Smaller stars have a toosmall habitable zone, and larger stars a too-short lifetime.

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy In addition, there are galactic habitable zones: There must not be too much radiation, or too few heavy elements. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy Finally, it is very unlikely that a planet in a binary

system would have a stable orbit unless it is extremely close to one star, or very far away from both. Give this factor a value of 1/10: one habitable planet in every 10 planetary systems. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc.

18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy Fraction of habitable planets on which life actually arises: Experiments suggest that this may be quite likely; on the other hand, it might be extremely improbable! Well be optimistic, and give this factor a value of 1. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy Fraction of life-bearing planets where intelligence arises:

Here we have essentially no facts, just speculation and opinion. Well continue being optimistic, and assign this factor a value of 1. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy Fraction of planets where intelligent life develops and uses technology: Again, we have no facts, but it does seem reasonable to assume that intelligent life will develop technology

sooner or later. Well give this factor a value of 1 also. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy So, right now, the first six factors, as weve assigned values to them, give 10 1 1/10 1 1 1 1 Therefore: 2017 Pearson Education, Inc.

18.3 Intelligent Life in the Galaxy For the average lifetime of a technological civilization, we cant even use ourselves as an example: Our civilization has been technological for about 100 years, but who knows how long it will last? Also, we assigned a value of one to several very uncertain factors; even if only one of them is low, the number of expected civilizations drops quickly. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc.

18.4 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence If the average lifetime of a technological civilization is 1 million years, there should be a million such civilizations in our Galaxy, spaced about 30 pc, or 100 ly, apart on average. This means that any two-way communication will take about 200 years (if there is in fact a technological civilization 100 light-years or less away from us).

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.4 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence We have already launched interstellar probes; this is a plaque on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.4 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence We are also communicatingalthough not

deliberatelythrough radio waves emitted by broadcast stations. These have a 24-hour pattern, as different broadcast areas rotate into view. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. 18.4 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

If we were to deliberately broadcast signals that we wished to be found, what would be a good frequency? There is a feature called the water hole around the radio frequencies of hydrogen and the hydroxyl molecule. The background is minimal there, and it is where we have been focusing many of our searches. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc.

18.4 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence These are the telescopes of Project Phoenix, designed to search for extraterrestrial signals. The plot in (b) is a simulation of an actual signal; none has ever been found.

2017 Pearson Education, Inc. Summary of Chapter 18 The history of the universe can be divided into phases dominated by the following kinds of evolution: particulate, galactic, stellar, planetary, chemical, biological, and cultural. Living organisms should be able to react to their environment, grow by taking in nutrients, reproduce, and evolve. Amino acids could have formed in the conditions

present on the early Earth or in space. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. Summary of Chapter 18, cont. Other places in our solar system that may harbor life are Mars, Europa, and Titan. The Drake equation can be used to estimate the total number of intelligent civilizations in our Galaxy, although a number of its factors are extremely uncertain. Even using optimistic assumptions, the next nearest

technological civilization is likely to be hundreds of parsecs away. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc. Summary of Chapter 18, cont. We have sent probes that will get to interstellar space eventually; they include information about us. We also leak radio signals, which to an outside observer would exhibit a 24-hour periodic variation. The water holea frequency around the hydrogen and OH frequenciesis a good place both to

broadcast and to seek messages. 2017 Pearson Education, Inc.

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