View Full Version : Are There Enough Chemicals on Icy Worlds to Support Life?

2018-Jun-06, 07:30 PM
A new study by researchers from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics indicates that the chemicals necessary for life as we know it might be limited on Europa and other "ocean worlds".
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2018-Jun-07, 02:52 PM
But the article never says what the phosphorus sinks are.

If this is what their hypothesis is based on, you'd think they'd mention what the phosphorus sinks were, and how they were the same or different on the four different worlds they're talking about.

2018-Jun-07, 02:54 PM
Oh, I used to raise corals professionally.

I have a nodding acquaintance with ocean chemistry.

2018-Jun-07, 04:44 PM
The paper is here
Lingham and Loeb have estimated phosphorous removal by applying Earth's rate of submarine deposit and adjusting for the surface area of the bottom of the hypothetical ocean on these worlds.

The question is- how does phosphorous recycle into the oceans and biosphere after being buried in this way on Earth? I guess this occurs due to continental uplift, exposing apatite and other phosphates. Perhaps they don't see this as happening on Europa or Enceladus.

2018-Jun-07, 04:52 PM
If nobody has told you yet today, you rock Eburacum.