We tend to search for very specific life forms in the universe based on what we know: an Earth-like planet orbiting a star and at a distance that allows water from its surface to be in a liquid state.
Much has already been said about silicon lifeforms or, for example, methane-based life as an alternative, but what is still theoretically possible?
According to a study by a group of physicists, it may well be that extraterrestrial species can form, develop and flourish in the depths of stars. It all depends on how you define life.
It is entirely possible that even inside our Sun there are also totally unidentified life forms.
If we take as a key the ability to encode information by certain carriers and the ability of these carriers to reproduce faster than they disintegrate, then hypothetical monopolar particles strung on cosmic filaments may become the basis of life. inside stars, just as DNA and RNA form the basis of life on Earth.
With these “collars”, the process of mass formation of random sequences may well have occurred until the formation of a sequence capable of self-replication, as was the case for RNA.
The problem is that neither cosmic strings (one-dimensional linear objects) nor monopoles (elementary particles at one magnetic pole) have been discovered so far, remaining purely hypothetical, but theory is still ahead of practice.
In 1988, Russian scientists Evgeny Chudnovsky and his colleague, theoretical physicist Alexander Vilenkin, predicted that cosmic strings could be captured by stars.
According to a new study, cosmic necklaces can form during a series of symmetry-breaking phase transitions. At the first stage, monopolies appear. In the second – strings.
This can lead to a stable configuration of a monopoly bead and two strings, which, in turn, can be connected, forming one-, two-, or even three-dimensional structures, as similar as possible to atoms connected by chemical bonds.
Cosmic strings are hypothetical one-dimensional topological defects that may have formed during a symmetry breaking phase transition in the early universe, when the vacuum manifold topology associated with this symmetry breaking was not simply connected .
Interestingly, according to the authors of this work, while the lifespan of self-replicating nuclear species is as short as that of many unstable composite nuclear objects, they can rapidly evolve to great complexity.
What could such a species of extraterrestrials look like? According to physicists, this is a real feast for the imagination, but there is no clear direction. Our current knowledge of life as such is too tied to the life form we know on Earth.
But the scientists have suggested that since these organisms use some of their star’s energy to survive and reproduce, this could explain the faster cooling of some of them, which does not fit accepted models. Stars with random light intensity can also be included here.
For example, a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic actually hit in early 2020, the world was focused on a distant supergiant star, 700 light-years away, known as Betelgeuse. The monstrous furnace suddenly darkened, becoming 10 times darker than usual.
So far, it’s only an interesting hypothesis, but physicists plan to continue the research by developing models of cosmic necklaces in stars.
Yes, it’s far from certain that this will lead us to an encounter with very luminous aliens, but at least it can give us a better understanding of cosmic cords and monopolies. Ultimately, the idea that the universe is in fact teeming with the most diverse life can only excite the mind.