View Full Version : Panspermia to Jupiter

2008-Dec-15, 03:13 PM
Jupiter may well have one of the largest liquid water zones in the solar system: a layer of water droplet clouds in its atmosphere at an atmosheric pressure of three to five atmospheres.

Jupiters atmosphere has plenty of (probably) fatal challenges for anything living, but assuming that a life form could find a way to survive there, what are the odds of one making it there from earth? How much rock from earth has Jupiter swept up, and if we had a hypothetical stowaway on one, what are the chances of it making it to jupiters liquid water layer?

2008-Dec-15, 05:50 PM
Given how many billions of bacteria can grow on a single discarded ham sandwich, I'm quite sure that ejecta containing bacteria reached Jupiter. Even if 99.9999% of them died, for a trillion bacteria, that means 1,000,000 of them survived.

The bacteria we most commonly encounter may not have survived. However, what of the bacteria in deep ocean thermal vents, or that which grows 6 miles deep at 0 C? My point being is that if there's a way for life to grow in a climate here on Earth, it's probably found it, and we have some incredibly inhospitable climates that are teeming with life. So even if 1,000,000 survived, and only 1 out of a million reproduced...

Well, that's all it would take, providing there was enough for that strain to live on.

2008-Dec-15, 05:54 PM
On another note, I was reading an interesting article about the "evolution of minerals" in a recent copy of The Economist. While there's about 4,000 minerals here on Earth, many of them formed in symbiosis with life. That is, without life doing things to the chemicals on Earth, the others would never have formed. Furthermore, much of life requires minerals which formed only because of the presence of earlier life.

Thus, even if a mass of a wide variety of bacteria does find it's way to Jupiter, they may yet simply starve because the system of support they need in terms of minerals may simply never have evolved!

Think on that one for a while...

2008-Dec-18, 12:25 PM
Thats good arguin' you got there mugs, but I was thinking more about the trip to jupiter itself, how much rock has made it, how long the journey would be etc. I know these kinds of studies have been done for mars, I wondered if any had been done for the giant planets?

All I'm thinking is that jupiter (probably) has liquid water (as droplets yes, but it still counts), lots of energy, and carbon chemistry going on in its atmosphere. Those are the three basic requirements for life, so for the sake of the argument why not sweep the problems of jupiters environment aside for now and find out how long the odds are of something getting there in fit state to worry about them?