Life Could Exist Within Star Clusters?

September 16, 2012 at 12:15 AM (astronomy topics, curious research, current news, extraterrestrial studies, late night studies, science and technology, web gossip)

Planets have been located in some unusual locations, as observed by astronomers.  Yet, this is the first recorded time that extrasolar worlds have been viewed, situated in collective groupings of stars.  Sometimes stars are situated within groups called star clusters.  There actually are two types of star clusters.  These stars are situated within the center regions of galaxies.

Globular clusters have thousands to millions of stars that are locked onto one another by the forces of gravity.  They can contain anywhere from thousands of stars to millions of stars.  Open clusters are believed to be the main locations of stellar formation, and they orbit galaxies at outer locations, or within outer regions of the arms of spiral galaxies.

Astronomers working with Georgia State University have been studying stars that are situated within globular clusters.  There has been speculation that stars within particular types of globular clusters that are called open clusters will have planets orbiting them.  Teams at G.S.U. have worked with The Fred Lawrence Observatory of The Smithsonian Astrphysical Observatory, searching to identify any planets that possibly may be in orbit of globular cluster stars.

This particular study is supporting an expanding theory about globular cluster stars.  These types of stars are believed to have elevated amounts of metals within them.  These metallic elements are necessary for a star’s capacity to support orbiting planets.  Further uses of any metals within these stars could be important for sustaining planets that could harbor life.

Specifically, stars within Messier 44, The Beehive Cluster,  contain metallic levels that are greater than those within The Sun.  Such extreme presences of metals would allow terrestrial worlds to form, closer to their host stars, and with the elements likely needed to support what we recognize as life.  Current studies of stars with higher than average metals are suspected to be capable of hosting entire planetary systems, some of which should contain terrestrial worlds.

The Beehive Cluster in particular is standing out right now because it has been found to contain to worlds similar to Jupiter.  These gas giants, both hot Jupiters, were seemingly strange, at first.  It was th0ught that worlds would not be able to form in locations that contained excessive amounts of stars.  Yet, the gas giants within M44 are thought to have formed at distant locations form their star, then they migrated inward.  This does not seem to allow for the existence of Earth-like worlds within M44.

The search continues!  We likely do not know that terrestrial worlds can not exist within orbits beyond, behind, those of gas giant worlds.  There possibly could be Earth-like planets situated behind the orbits of the gas giants, located within star clusters.  Such an identification could change the way that views of extrasolar planets happen, and the methods that are used to seek extrasolar planets that could be akin to our Earth!

Messier 44

SEE THESE SITES!!!…/hot-jupiter-cluster-of-stars-091512…planets-sun-like-stars-cluster.html



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