When it comes to the origin of life, we only have one example in the entire known Universe where we’re certain it’s successfully arisen: right here on Earth. Although we’re aware of many steps in the story of how life evolved and gave rise to the diversity of organisms we observe today and in the fossil record, some big mysteries remain. In particular, we don’t know how life first arose, and which ingredients and conditions from Earth’s early history were essential in that key step of creating life from non-life.
We assume that it’s smart to look for life on Earth-sized planets with Earth-like orbits around Sun-like stars with heavy element presences similar to our Solar System. But those might not be the only conditions which support life. In fact, Super-Earth worlds, despite their extraordinary differences from Earth-like worlds, might support life finding a way, too. And if so, there’s one right next door: around Barnard’s Star.