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Prester John
2003-Jul-04, 02:26 PM
So what do people think the chances are that there are non terrestial life forms (microorganisms) on one or more of the planets or moons in the solar system?

We have ice and evidence of liquid water on Mars
Possibly a giant ocean under the ice of europa
Maybe Venus whose atmosphere may support some hardy organisms

On this planet whereever we look we find microrganisms from the highet mountain to the deepest darket seabed, even in rocks deep underground.
If all life needs is water and an energy source then surely we will find other life within our solar system.

Jason Thompson
2003-Jul-04, 04:10 PM
My money's on Europa, although life on Mars wouldn't surprise me either.

eburacum45
2003-Jul-04, 04:42 PM
If there is widespread life, it probably all started on one planet- I'd say Earth, but perhaps Mars and Venus are candidates too-

the exchange of marerial between planets is miniscule,
but it might be enough for spores and radiation hardened extremophiles to piggyback from one world to the next.

Gregory
2003-Jul-04, 05:11 PM
Venus? I though that life couldn't exist without liquid water?

From what I've heard (and I'm certainly no expert), Europa and Titan might both be capable of supporting life. So I suppose the question is, does the fact that a place could support life mean that it's likely to?

Kaptain K
2003-Jul-04, 05:45 PM
Venus? I though that life couldn't exist without liquid water?

Just because Venus doesn't have liquid water now does not mean it was always so. The Sun has brightened by a third since it first ignited.

jokergirl
2003-Jul-04, 07:20 PM
So I suppose the question is, does the fact that a place could support life mean that it's likely to?

That's what everyone is trying to find out, I guess. And where every Sci-Fi writer's (and of course exobiologists) hopes lie ;)

;)

Vermonter
2003-Jul-04, 07:58 PM
I believed I read an article stating how scientists have detected microorganisms in Venus's atmosphere. I may be wrong, but it was somewhere.

glen chapman
2003-Jul-04, 08:55 PM
Yeah I am in the Europa Mars camp. Titan worries me, becuase it is getting so cold - I'm not sure we would even recognise life if it kicked us.

Interesting thing kicking around a few years ago - have heard little since. Pluto/Charon, might be creating enough tidal energy to generate pockets of liquid water near Pluto's core. Now that would be cool.

But hey, would not be surprised at all to find life anywhere. As some one pointed out the pesdky stuff has found ways to invade every evironment on Earth - I suspect there are places in space that would prove little or no challenge to the stuff.

Vermonter
2003-Jul-04, 09:22 PM
I'd vote:

Venus
Mars
Titan
Europa

(not in that order)

Humphrey
2003-Jul-04, 09:35 PM
I believed I read an article stating how scientists have detected microorganisms in Venus's atmosphere. I may be wrong, but it was somewhere.

Popular science had one. It was sumtime in the spring. Sorry if i can't remeber the issue.

Vermonter
2003-Jul-04, 09:53 PM
I think that was where I saw it. If I find the article I will scan it and put a link up.

[Later] I found the article I was referring to and that G reminded me of.


Hail Venus! Is There Life Here?
http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviation/article/0,12543,406876,00.html

DStahl
2003-Jul-04, 11:21 PM
Wow! That's a nice article. I'm not convinced there's life on Venus, but I'm now convinced there's a long-shot possibility! Cool.

I think there's almost certainly microbial life underground on Mars (quite deep, in the rock and not the soil). I'm hopeful for Europa; and I personally think we may find something quite extraordinary on Titan--self-replicating molecules with a radically different chemistry than ours. It's a long shot, but if there really have been hydrocarbon liquids on the surface of Titan for a long time then that might provide a solvent medium for some startling chemistry to develop.

AK
2003-Jul-05, 04:27 AM
Enceladus is another possibility...

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-05, 04:30 AM
I can prove that at one point in time there was life on Earth's moon!!! Think "God of the Sun"

Ilya
2003-Jul-05, 02:05 PM
I think Europa and Mars are best bets. For lower but still non-zero possibilities, look at other moons of gas giants with potential underground oceans - Calliston, Ganymede, Enceladus and, yes, Titan.

I would not bet at all on Titan's surface.

Colt
2003-Jul-05, 06:53 PM
Europa, Mars, Galilean Moons, and just maybe, Earth. -Colt

AK
2003-Jul-06, 07:28 AM
Europa, Mars, Galilean Moons, and just maybe, Earth. -Colt

Which Galilean moons other than Europa? They don't seem particularly likely (especially Io)...

pmcolt
2003-Jul-06, 08:26 AM
Earth - definitely. I'm 99.999% sure that there's life on this planet.
Mars - probably. I'd bet money that there was life there sometime, and I doubt that life would disappear without a fight.
Europa - possibly. It seems to be en vogue nowadays. If there's a liquid ocean and enough organic material, I guess it's possible.
Titan - possibly. If it's there, I think it would either be atmospheric or exist in whatever puddles of liquid might exist on Titan. If any.
Venus - I don't know, it seems kind of out there. They'd have to be pretty hardy to survive in Venus' atmosphere and with as little water as is present there.
Pluto - maybe. It would be a wonderful demonstration of the universe's sense of humor.

Would it be possible for atmospheric life to exist in any of the gas giants? Either naturally occurring, or perhaps developing on Europa or Titan and relocated there by an impact?

Colt
2003-Jul-06, 07:00 PM
Arthur C. Clarke thinks there might be. :P The Odyssey series rocks. :) -Colt

Argos
2003-Jul-06, 07:09 PM
A. Clarke has suggested that aerial life forms could develop in the Jupiterīs atmosphere.

Beaver
2003-Jul-06, 07:19 PM
A. Clarke has suggested that aerial life forms could develop in the Jupiterīs atmosphere.

Yes he knew alot about science so he could write good science fiction

eburacum45
2003-Jul-06, 09:49 PM
Gas giant life would have to live in the upper atmosphere, and would have to be adapted to the ferocious updrafts and downdrafts of such a dynamic atmosphere.
Probably nothing bigger than single celled sky plankton could survive; this is similar to the sort of life that is expected in Venus' atmosphere according to this page from the Venus link (http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviation/article/0,12543,406876-4,00.html).
It seems that organisms this size will be fairly easy to detect from a distance, and perhaps there would be biochemical markers as well.

Perhaps strings or colonies of such plankton could conglomerate into larger organisms, who knows.

wedgebert
2003-Jul-06, 10:31 PM
You should read Stephen Baxter's Vacuum Diagrams. It's a collection of short stories and in the first few it details the exploration of the solar system and the discovery of life all over the place.

The three most remarkable discoveries were life on Mercury, Pluto/Charon and in the Kuniper belt.

On Mercury, life existed underground in a small pocket of liquid. Can't remember if it was water or not.

On Pluto/Charon, spideresque creatures would lay their eggs on Pluto then migrate to Charon (or maybe it was vice-versa) because each planet had something the other didn't in order to survive. I call them spideresque because they had created a very faint type of web between the two planets for some reason (again, can't remember :)

Finally was the Kuniper belt. There creatures existed that had superfluid helium for blood. Their life cycle consisted of a three day (asteroid day) active cycle where they tried to find a good place to "take root" then they basically became plant-like (and lost their sentience) and reproduced and died.

They survived by finding a place where half their body would be in shade and the other half was in sunlight. Even though sunlight was incredibly weak, it was enough to heat up their blood enough so that it caused their blood to flow. The mere presence of humans (and their equipment) caused enough heat to kill any of the aliens nearby.

Kebsis
2003-Jul-07, 06:04 AM
The center of the sun.

Because it's the last place we'd ever think to look :D

QuagmaPhage
2003-Jul-07, 08:42 AM
A. Clarke has suggested that aerial life forms could develop in the Jupiterīs atmosphere.

I was going to say that life in Jupiter's atmosphere was first suggested by Carl Sagan and E. E. Salpeter in a paper (http://www.angelfire.com/on2/daviddarling/Jupiterlife.htm) in 1976 but then I found out that Clarke's A Meeting with Medusa was first published in Playboy in December 1971. That magazine has some very interesting articles.

Since Stephen Baxter already has been mentioned, he also wrote about the Sun being infested with photino birds.

informant
2003-Jul-07, 09:55 AM
The three most remarkable discoveries were life on Mercury, Pluto/Charon and in the Kuniper belt.

(...)

Finally was the Kuniper belt. There creatures existed that had superfluid helium for blood.

Spell control: Kuiper. 8)

AK
2003-Jul-07, 12:02 PM
I was going to say that life in Jupiter's atmosphere was first suggested by Carl Sagan and E. E. Salpeter in a paper (http://www.angelfire.com/on2/daviddarling/Jupiterlife.htm) in 1976 but then I found out that Clarke's A Meeting with Medusa was first published in Playboy in December 1971. That magazine has some very interesting articles.


There are articles?? :wink:

David Hall
2003-Jul-08, 04:27 PM
The center of the sun.

Because it's the last place we'd ever think to look :D

Clarke had a short story about the dying moments of a living creature, something like a semi-intelligent electromagnetic field, being ejected from the surface of the Sun.