Monday, September 7, 2015

Cosmic explosions, Life in the Universe and the Cosmological Constant

Cosmic explosions, life in the Universe and the Cosmological Constant

Piran et al


Galactic Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are copious sources of gamma-rays that can pose a threat to complex life. Using recent determinations of their rate and the probability of GRBs causing massive extinction, we explore what type of universes are most likely to harbour advanced forms of life. For this purpose we use cosmological N-body simulations to determine at what time and for what value of the cosmological constant (Λ) the chances of life being unaffected by cosmic explosions are maximised. We find that Λ−dominated universes favour the survival of life against GRBs. Within a ΛCDM cosmology, the parameters that govern the likelihood of life survival to GRBs are dictated by the value of Λ and the age of the Universe. We find that we seem to live in a favorable point in this parameter phase space which minimises the exposure to cosmic explosions, yet maximises the number of main sequence (hydrogen-burning) stars around which advanced life forms can exist.

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