Reply to post: Life must be everywhere

Meteorite's tiny secrets reveal Solar System's sodium-rich, alkaline liquid past – a clue to formation of life

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Life must be everywhere

Our corner of space should not be anything special, so if asteroids are what seeded life on our planet by bringing water and essential minerals, then it has to have happened elsewhere as well. So it should be likely that there are millions of planets that have some of life on them, and of all those millions, there should be at least a few where some form of intelligence has evolved.

However, from what Kepler and other satellites have discovered, all solar systems do not resemble ours. Many of them have Jupiter-like planets orbiting close to the star. We still don't know how a Jupiter-size planet can form in close proximity to a star, but it may not be impossible. One thing is certain though, if those gas giants formed at a distance from the star, like our Jupiter, and somehow migrated inwards, it would most certainly spell doom for any inner rocky planets. The disruption to their orbits would be fatal, and ejection from the system would be likely.

On top of that, it is Jupiter that has protected us from the worst (well, mostly), by sweeping a large area clean from asteroids of all kinds. It is still acting as a guardian from Kuiper Belt asteroids, and has even taken a hit for us in recent memory. Rocky planets that develop in systems where there is no gas giant, or worse, where the gas giant develops close to the star, will not have that protection and will continue getting hit for eons. Life will have a hard time surviving in those conditions.

So maybe, just maybe, we actually are in a somewhat special place after all.

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