A Cosmos Full of Life-Generating Goo

Betül Kaçar at Aeon Magazine:

It’s important to see the full opportunity waiting ahead. Each planet or moon is its own world, with its own history and story to tell, and its own potential (however one might define this) for the future. Though mostly barren of life, they are far from empty; many are chock-full of the materials that would go into life-generating goo: sugars, amino acids, carboxylic acids and powerful molecules that drive reactions away from equilibrium. On bodies where widespread life might not be possible, many of them nevertheless contain microniches where life can take root and flourish for billions of years. Conceivably, for every planet that crossed the threshold of biogenesis, there were scores more that came part or even most of the way that just missed the nudge to do so.

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