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Fraser
2004-Apr-07, 04:25 PM
SUMMARY: The Sun is heating up, and in 4 billion years from now it will swell up to become a red giant - Earth and the rest of the inner planets will be destroyed. But the deadly conditions that destroy the Earth will mean warmer temperatures in the outer Solar System, possibly supporting life. The region from Saturn to Pluto will warm up to the point that frozen water will melt on moons and planets. Scientists think the best chances for life will be found on Pluto and its moon Charon as well as Neptune's moon Triton because they're rich in organic chemicals.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

damienpaul
2004-Apr-07, 04:29 PM
What are the likelihood of life emerging or migrating to the outer planetary system?

om@umr.edu
2004-Apr-07, 04:52 PM
This story seems to be based on speculation, Fraser. :D

It is based on an assumption that some scientists know the internal workings of the Sun so well they can make a meaningful prediction that "The Sun is heating up, and in 4 billion years from now it will swell up to become a red giant - Earth and the rest of the inner planets will be destroyed."

As you know, weather forecasters have a hard time predicting the future here - - - even here a few days in advance.

Does anyone seriously believe they understand the inside of the Sun so confidently as to predict its future 4 billion years in the future?

That is an attention grabber, Fraser, but the internal workings of the Sun are still being debated.
http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.p...pic=2544&st=75& (http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=2544&st=75&)

I hope the authors of this report will join in.

With kind regards,

Oliver :D
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Planetwatcher
2004-Apr-07, 10:18 PM
I'm thinking more like Jupiter, Saturn, and maybe Uranus's moons for the life zone, and Jupiter may be a tad close, and Uranus may be a tad far.

Neptune and Pluto are unlikely if the Sun become a red giant. The Sun would have to either be a blue giant, a red supergiant, or a very tight binary with one red giant and one yellow dwarf for the life zone to reach Neptune and Pluto.

Sp1ke
2004-Apr-08, 12:17 AM
It is based on an assumption that some scientists know the internal workings of the Sun
I think the future of the sun is fairly well predicted, based on observations of the many other stars visible from earth.

When the sun becomes a red giant, I think Jupiter's moons are going to become an interesting place. They are large enough to retain some atmosphere and they provide a mixture of environments - icy, volcanic etc. If any life were to arise, I think it would be there. Pluto, Charon and Sedna are probably too small.

And I think that by the time the earth becomes uninhabitable, humanity (if it still exists) will be unrecognizable to us and will probably no longer have the same environmental needs as we do now. It's probably too simple to just imagine we'll hop outwards a planet at a time.

John LaCour
2004-Apr-08, 01:42 AM
Sp1ke,

The guy that wrote that comment has brouht back an older theory that has fallen out of favor that the sun is in fact NOT mostly hydrogen and helium, but is instead mostly iron. Based on this theory the life of the sun would be much different.

Of course, based on the hydrogen-helium models you, and this story, are correct.

damienpaul
2004-Apr-08, 04:11 AM
I'm thinking more like Jupiter, Saturn, and maybe Uranus's moons for the life zone, and Jupiter may be a tad close, and Uranus may be a tad far.

so there is the potential that Titan may get teh spark it needs. Interesting thought, but yes I agree with you, that the life zone would be from Jupiter (just) through to near Uranus.

Fraser
2004-Apr-08, 05:52 AM
Whether there's life or not depends on how well bacteria can survive a long journey in space and land on the surface of any of those objects. If we find evidence of life on Mars in the next few years, and can trace its DNA back to understand when life jumped from Mars to Earth or vice versa, then we'll have a much better understanding of how "mobile" life is in our Solar System.

It could very well be that comets and asteroids have blasted enough critters off the Earth that they're raining back down throughout the Solar System all the time. Once the outer objects warmed up and their water melted, life might start up right away.

If life needs to get going from scratch, it might not happen at all.

kashi
2004-Apr-08, 09:23 AM
I want in on the pluto real estate boom!

Faulkner
2004-Apr-08, 12:26 PM
Charon would suit me fine!!!

What do they mean by "organic chemicals"?? Carbon? Or molecules with carbon in 'em? How do they know they're there on Pluto & Charon (without sending a probe there)?

Have I missed something, or have scientists suddenly discovered the secret of life: "organic chemical" + "sunlight" = "microbe"??? Can they reproduce it in a lab nowadays??


If life needs to get going from scratch, it might not happen at all.

So how did it come about on Earth? And so abundantly, like a zoo?

Sp1ke
2004-Apr-08, 01:07 PM
So how did it come about on Earth? And so abundantly, like a zoo?

Once it starts, it's likely to spread and diversify. The tricky thing is getting life started. If it relies on a unique combination of factors that rarely occurs, then there's a fair chance that the only way we'll get life on other planets is if it is spread there from earth, by meteorites, asteroids or other impacts.

*But* there is also the possibility that life naturally arises from many different scenarios since all it needs is some sort of self-organising tendency in the environment. When you look over geological timescales, lots of things are possible and even probably. Any self-organizing process that can mutate and select improved versions will be likely to produce a "life-like" result. So my optimistic view is that there's a good chance that other planets or satellites either have life forms or have the potential to produce them.

We'll have to go there to find out, I guess. It will raise a lot of interesting philosophical questions if we ever find any form of life that did not originate on earth.

Nick4
2004-Apr-08, 07:03 PM
Thats kinda oveous i knew that when the sun swells it will warm up the rest of the outer planets. But the story is very interesting but if life did form on one of the planets it wouldent last long and the years of the outer planets would be shorter. B)

Mettalica1
2004-Apr-08, 07:16 PM
DUH&#33; everyone knows this. :wacko: :wacko: <_< <_<

Planetwatcher
2004-Apr-08, 07:32 PM
The guy that wrote that comment has brouht back an older theory that has fallen out of favor that the sun is in fact NOT mostly hydrogen and helium, but is instead mostly iron. Based on this theory the life of the sun would be much different. If the Sun were mostly iron then it would already be a red giant and be near the end of it&#39;s life.

A body the size of the Sun would only burn an iron core for a day or two before it collapsed into a white dwarf.

Algenon the mouse
2004-Apr-08, 11:33 PM
4 billion years is a long time to wait. I think I will worry about the ozone layer of the atmosphere going bad first.

Nick4
2004-Apr-09, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by Algenon the mouse@Apr 8 2004, 11:33 PM
4 billion years is a long time to wait. I think I will worry about the ozone layer of the atmosphere going bad first.
Thats a good point we should wory about our ozone first rather than woring about the sun swelling.

Skywise
2004-Apr-09, 03:01 AM
I have the thought in my head that any civilization advanced enough to know that the star their planet orbits was heating up and preparing to expand outward into a red giant would have the ability to develop (in the time remaining) the ability to move outward into their solar system and set up enough to survive and just wait for the &#39;weather&#39; to improve as the sun expanded.

I mean it takes a lot of time for a star to expand. Look at what our species has accomplished in the last 100 years. Who knows where we&#39;ll be even 1,000 years from now.

Bio-molecular computers, nano-technology, artificial intelligence, and a multitude of other areas are advancing very rapidly.

The future lies ahead. Who knows what discoveries we&#39;ll be making in the next few years as far as life beyond our Earth.

Nick4
2004-Apr-09, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by Skywise@Apr 9 2004, 03:01 AM
I have the thought in my head that any civilization advanced enough to know that the star their planet orbits was heating up and preparing to expand outward into a red giant would have the ability to develop (in the time remaining) the ability to move outward into their solar system and set up enough to survive and just wait for the &#39;weather&#39; to improve as the sun expanded.

I mean it takes a lot of time for a star to expand. Look at what our species has accomplished in the last 100 years. Who knows where we&#39;ll be even 1,000 years from now.

Bio-molecular computers, nano-technology, artificial intelligence, and a multitude of other areas are advancing very rapidly.

The future lies ahead. Who knows what discoveries we&#39;ll be making in the next few years as far as life beyond our Earth.
You have a very good point we probly do have a good chance of making a civelazation on another planet. The only problum is time. It takes 8 years with our curent tecnology to reach Mars. So just think how long it would take to reach Neptune or Uranus or evan Pluto it would take a couple hundred years just to get there. B)

Planetwatcher
2004-Apr-09, 07:38 PM
Someone told you wrong Nick4. Mars is more like 6 months away. However that is only when it is at it&#39;s closest opposition about every 26 months. Otherwise it takes a few months more, but not 8 years.

Now it might take 8 years to reach Uranus, and I don&#39;t know if it&#39;s even that.
Neptune or Pluto would likely take as much as 12 to 15 years with current technology.

But your point is well taken, because considering how long it may take to move the population of the entire planet, your looking at a very significant amout of time.

om@umr.edu
2004-Apr-10, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by Planetwatcher@Apr 8 2004, 07:32 PM
If the Sun were mostly iron then it would already be a red giant and be near the end of it&#39;s life.

A body the size of the Sun would only burn an iron core for a day or two before it collapsed into a white dwarf.
Thanks for your commets, Planetwatcher. :D

They seem to agree with textbooks. ;)

But the iron-rich Sun appears to have a neutron star at its core. :rolleyes:

So far as I know, that possibility is not yet discussed in textbooks.

Please join in the on-line discussion of evidence for an iron-rich Sun with a neutron star at its core:

http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.p...view=getnewpost (http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=2544&view=getnewpost)

With kind regards,

Oliver :D
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Tom2Mars
2004-Apr-11, 03:35 AM
Re- Fraser&#39;s comment
Whether there&#39;s life or not depends on how well bacteria can survive a long journey in space and land on the surface of any of those objects.

I read a report/article, I believe by Chris McKay that some Antarctic ice dated from 2 million years was thawed out, and bacteria(microbes?), which had been frozen, also thawed out, woke up and started milling about.

I know that 2 million to 4 billion years is a bit of a stretch, but if some microbes did manage to hibernate on a frozen piece of impact ejecta from earth, or on a bit of an old human probe, it might be possible for life to find another home.

damienpaul
2004-Apr-11, 03:37 AM
But in &#39;stasis&#39; isn&#39;t time irrelevant potentially?