Extraterrestrial Life --"Alternative Biochemistries" (Weekend Feature) In his famous lecture, "Life in the Universe," Stephen Hawking observed that what we normally think of as 'life' is based on chains of carbon atoms, with a few other atoms, such as nitrogen or phosphorous. We can imagine that one might have life with some other chemical basis, such as silicon, "but carbon seems the most favorable case, because it has the richest chemistry."
Current telescopes can only see galaxies about 700 million years old, and only when the galaxy is unusually large or as the result of a big event like a stellar explosion. An international team of scientists led by researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a new method for detecting galaxies of stars that formed when the universe was in its infancy, during the first 180 million years of its existence. The method is able to observe stars that were previously believed too old to find.
The Rho Ophiuchi Nebula: A Clue to Origin of Earth's Key Molecules? Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) a key molecule for both astronomers and chemists has been discovered close to the star Rho Ophiuchi, about 400 light-years away.