All known life forms are composed of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. But even if we assume that life on Earth and in our Solar system exclusively organic, does this mean that life is in the Universe? On this topic argues for more than one generation of scientists and theorists. However, most of them believe that life is able to take the most unexpected forms.
Little green men
In our days it is difficult to find someone who has never seen a single episode of “Secret materials”. Of course, we have no doubt that there are any. However, the cult TV series 1990-ies has strengthened the image of little green men in the mass cultural consciousness and made them an integral part of any conversation regarding life outside of Earth.
Scientists, meanwhile, at the mention of little green men an indulgent smile. Life on Earth and, consequently, all known life in the Universe, has several main characteristics. The majority of compounds that we can find contain carbon. Scientists call these compounds is organic.
But this does not mean that organic life is alone in the Universe. In fact, we can easily imagine a variety of conditions in which to exist is unusual for us life forms. If you have seen at least a couple of episodes of “Rick and Morty” you know the worth of our imagination. But let us still listen to the scientists.
Life based on ammonia
Most of the chemical reactions that underpin life occurs in water. Water dissolves many different molecules. And the good solvent is what you need for the complex chemical processes which give rise to life itself.
Physics of extraterrestrial life: aliens should be similar to earthlings
As strange as it seemed, but ammonia is quite common in the galaxy. It is also capable of dissolving organic compounds like water, but unlike the latter dissolves some metallic compounds. This opens up the possibility for the use of more interesting chemical substances in the living organisms.
Life based on ammonia can exist outside the so-called Goldilocks zone (the range within which the planet may be liquid water and optimal temperature). Astrobiologists often indicates Saturn’s moon Titan. The fact that it can hold under its surface as the oceans of water and oceans of ammonia.
So we can safely try to imagine something like amigooo octopus, or a reasonable amicay fish, for example. Don’t even know, probably you are better we will cope with this task. If possible, write about it in our Telegram chat — discuss.
Life based on silicon
Silicon is a great component for life anywhere in the Universe. Carbon is able to form a connection with four atoms at the same time, contact with oxygen to form polymeric chains, which make it a perfect sostavlyal for the complex chemistry of life.
And yet, silicon is fairly limited as a basis for life. Silicon forms stable relationships with a limited number of chemical elements. But by themselves, the chemical processes of silicon is unstable in the aquatic environment.
And yet, under certain conditions, a chemistry based on silicon may be favorable for life. Such life forms can exist in environments rich in methane and even liquid nitrogen, but in the Universe there are places. So why not?