Planetary Life Forms Around a Neutron Star (Pulsar)

Many astronomers and scientists currently believe life would be impossible around a pulsar. A pulsar would bathe the surface of a planet in massive amounts of radiation constantly, like clockwork. Like a heart beat. Watch the video below.

I don’t think we should assume all life in the universe is made of the same “fragile” components as we are. And it’s possible that life does not have to be self contained. A pulsar could serve the function of a “heart” to silicon based life forms on the surface. It could distribute nutrients (energy) deep into an organism. Especially if that organism was semi transparent to the radiation. Pulsars are constant and regular for millions of years. The energy they produce could easily be relied upon by organisms over the course of an evolutionary period.

If this concept sounds strange to you, think about how much we rely on our sun. If the sun were to stop shining, plants would die, the food chain would be in shambles and we would most likely perish from starvation. If we did not freeze to death first. We too have an unbreakable umbilical cord to our star. At least for the time being.

18 thoughts on “Planetary Life Forms Around a Neutron Star (Pulsar)

  1. Allan M.

    I agree that the assumption all life in the universe is “as we know it”. As a matter of fact, even on our own planet there is life that defies definition, living in underwater, volcanic steam vents that should be too hot and too acidic to support life. So why couldn’t there be some form of live life around a pulsar.

  2. leigh k

    i love the descriptions! a planetary zombie, or a disco! that really makes natgeo fun to watch, they really want you to understand and tell you thing that really get you into it! i wish i had teachers like that when i was in school, maybe i would have learned more. but, ugh, that pulsing light is giving me seizure feelings!

  3. Cody Morris

    “Many astronomers and scientists currently believe life would be impossible around a pulsar.” I think this is somewhat egotistical, because obviously the astronomers and scientists in mention determine life to be definable by their own understanding of what life is. Who’s to say there aren’t some forms of life around a pulsar convinced that there is no life possible removed from a pulsar.

  4. L. Jensen

    Everyday our understanding of our solar system, our galaxy and of the universe as a whole expands, yet we still assume humanoid or at least carbon based lifeforms are going to be what we find out their. Hollywood portrays all aliens as having some form of eyes, limbs, heads, a central body mass and of course existing in a corporeal form. If our goal is to find another version of us out there, we’re likely to miss seeing many lifeforms because we either do not recognize them as lifeforms or fail to see them at all because they exist in another state than we do. Would we recognise gaseous lifeforms? What about lifeforms comprised of only energy. What about silica or other non-organic life forms. Would they even be considered life forms?

  5. Gary M

    If the assumption is that life as we know it is the only life there is in the universe, then I agree life would be impossible around a pulsar. But I think it is rather arrogant to assume ours is the only definition of life in the entire 14 billion year old universe.

  6. Keith Jansen

    Among the almost infinite number of galaxies scattered throughout the universe there must be millions with intelligent life already advanced enough to think abstractly. I wonder how many of those that are home to silicone, energy or gaseous based life forms are convinced carbon based life forms can not exist at all, let alone any life at all exist in a solar system with a gamma radiation emitting sun.

  7. Jasmine2015

    I love how more and more we are learning about space. Who says that life has to be exactly as we see it on earth ? If there are other living things in space would we have to redefine what counts as a living thing?

  8. bbatv

    A very good point made. Evolution is not just an idea that gives reality to beings like ourselves, but a constant pressure on the universe to create life in whatever form possible. If we do meet aliens in my lifetime I will be surprised by each of their similarities to us, not their differences.

  9. michaelrydell

    I’ve always tested out the family dog by putting him in front of a mirror, don’t know why. Always curious as to whether they would find surprise or interest in the reflection of themselves. They have never found themselves in the mirror, and I’ve often wondered why. They seem alert enough to pick up on this. This article and video explains a lot. I’m passing this info on. Thanks.

  10. spaceboytaylor

    I’m totally down for these kinds of ideas. As much as I love things like Star Wars, and many of the Star Trek aliens, I don’t think it’s very likely that when we go out and find new life, they’ll be just like humans, only with a bumpy forehead and strange facial hair. It’s already widely known that we as people know nearly a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of how the universe works, and assuming that something “can’t” be possible just because we don’t know how it would be is like guaranteeing that a newborn could finish a calculus test with perfect accuracy without the need to check.

    1. anorexorcist

      I think that it’s important for us to get rid or maybe consider the possibility that maybe other forms of life in the universe don’t really have to be super bad, different or maybe smarter than us. They are just organisms that adapted to their environment as we are trying to right now. And the fact that they are maybe outside of galaxy doesn’t means that they are that different from us.

  11. SirJoe

    Maybe not life like we know it. We just have to look at this planet we have two different worlds. Aquatic and terrestrial. If someone had never seen or heard of a fish he would say that water was impossible to sustain life in it, yet the majority of living things on this planet live in water.

  12. paultraining

    I agree it is possible some life form could adapt to the radiation from a pulsar. Or perhaps a planet could develop some way to deal with the radiation. For example fish can breathe underwater while we can’t, organisms have been found living in places we never imagined living in, other creatures have defense mechanisms that we don’t have etc.

  13. Polaris

    These hypothetical organisms could very well be dependent on radiation instead of transparent by it. Consider that some kinds of radiation (x and gamma rays) are photos as well. Photosynthesis is done by harvesting the photon of certain spectra from what the sun emits depending on what the structure of the photosynthetic proteins allow (because their structure causes them to be prone to absorbing these photons), so why not harvest higher energy photos with proteins that have a sensitivity to higher energy photons?

  14. anorexorcist

    It’s interesting to see the sun as pulsator in some way, maybe we are specially adapted to the sun in order to get the best out of it, and maybe that’s a capacity that other forms of life who are adaptable to pulsars don’t really have, it’s an strange thing to think about but almost everything in life has to do with our capacity to adapt ourselves to things.

  15. rz3300

    Well that is a really cool video, so thank you for sharing that with us. This really fascinating to think about, and a little worrisome when you talk about the sun suddenly stopping to provide us with energy…that is certainly not a good thing. Anytime that you start talking about silicone based life forms, though, you get my attention pretty quickly. Thanks again for sharing.

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