Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


* * * * * 1 votes

NASA probe reveals organics, ice on Mercury


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1    Socio

Socio

    Conspiracy Theorist

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 927 posts
  • Joined:27 Feb 2008

Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:00 AM

http://www.chicagotr...0,5890155.story

Quote

Despite searing daytime temperatures, Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, has ice and frozen organic materials inside permanently shadowed craters in its north pole, NASA scientists said on Thursday.

Earth-based telescopes have been compiling evidence for ice on Mercury for 20 years, but the finding of organics was a surprise, say researchers with NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, the first probe to orbit Mercury.

Both ice and organic materials, which are similar to tar or coal, were believed to have been delivered millions of years ago by comets and asteroids crashing into the planet.

Sounds like Mars is not the only planet in our soloar system with suprises.

Edited by Socio, 30 November 2012 - 01:01 AM.


#2    Ashotep

Ashotep

    Omnipotent Entity

  • Member
  • 9,975 posts
  • Joined:10 May 2011
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA

  • Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway-John Wayne

Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:06 AM

I think there is life throughout the universe, some intelligent.  I am surprised at organics on Mercury but life on other planets may not find our planets atmosphere, viruses or temperature tolerable.


#3    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

    Space Cadet

  • 34,215 posts
  • Joined:03 Mar 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bexleyheath, Kent, UK

  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    Oscar Wilde

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:07 AM

View PostHilander, on 30 November 2012 - 02:06 AM, said:

I think there is life throughout the universe, some intelligent.  I am surprised at organics on Mercury but life on other planets may not find our planets atmosphere, viruses or temperature tolerable.
Organics shouldn't be a surprise really.

The problem is that people associate organics with life, that is not the case. Organic (in chemical terms) just means a molecule containing carbon. In Victorian times it was believed that all organic molecules were formed by living things, we now know that not to be the case, in fact the reverse is true; life arose from organic molecules.

The water at Mercury's pole was almost certainly delivered there by comets. We know that complex organic molecules form on comets as a result of ultraviolet radiation from the sun providing energy for reactions to occur. If the water was deposited by comets then it also follows that they would likely have deposited organic molecules too.

When further research is carried out on the water ice believed to be present at the lunar poles don't be surprised if organic molecules are discovered there too.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

Posted Image
Click on button

#4    Big Bad Voodoo

Big Bad Voodoo

    High priest of Darwinism

  • Member
  • 9,582 posts
  • Joined:15 Nov 2010
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:28 PM

Water is everywhere I guess except on Stars.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#5    Coffey

Coffey

    Majestic 12 Operative

  • Member
  • 5,671 posts
  • Joined:09 Oct 2009
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich UK

  • "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 30 November 2012 - 11:07 AM, said:

Organics shouldn't be a surprise really.

The problem is that people associate organics with life, that is not the case. Organic (in chemical terms) just means a molecule containing carbon. In Victorian times it was believed that all organic molecules were formed by living things, we now know that not to be the case, in fact the reverse is true; life arose from organic molecules.


Makes me wonder about how they label "organic" food now... lol

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

#6    27vet

27vet

    Astral Projection

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 697 posts
  • Joined:26 Mar 2010
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In the tropics

  • Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.

Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

There may well be a few places on Mercury where the temperature can support life. Perhaps in a few decades they will send a surface probe there.


#7    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

    Space Cadet

  • 34,215 posts
  • Joined:03 Mar 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bexleyheath, Kent, UK

  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    Oscar Wilde

Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:30 PM

View Postthe L, on 30 November 2012 - 12:28 PM, said:

Water is everywhere I guess except on Stars.

This fact seems to surprise people too, but it shouldn't.

Water is an extremely simple molecule. Given that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and oxygen the third most (second is helium which is extremely inert) then it follows that water should be one of the most common molecules in the universe.

View PostCoffey, on 30 November 2012 - 12:48 PM, said:

Makes me wonder about how they label "organic" food now... lol
Different usage if the word "organic", nothing to do with chemistry at all.

View Post27vet, on 30 November 2012 - 01:02 PM, said:

There may well be a few places on Mercury where the temperature can support life. Perhaps in a few decades they will send a surface probe there.

Extraordinarily unlikely.

Mercury has even less chance of supporting life than the Moon (and the Moon's chances are as close to zero as makes no odds). The only areas where water can survive are the craters near the pole. These are in eternal darkness and the temperature will be far to cold for any kind of chemical reactions need for even the most basic life.

The rest of Mercury is either baked or frozen solid (depending on whether the Sun is above the horizon). The atmosphere (if you can call it that) is so tenuous that it can only be detected by very sensitive instruments and consists mostly of particles captured from the sun.

Although we know that life can survive in inhospitable places there are limits... too hot or too cold and the chemistry necessary just can not occur.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

Posted Image
Click on button

#8    Coffey

Coffey

    Majestic 12 Operative

  • Member
  • 5,671 posts
  • Joined:09 Oct 2009
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich UK

  • "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:45 PM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 30 November 2012 - 01:30 PM, said:

Different usage if the word "organic", nothing to do with chemistry at all.

Was just a joke... :P

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

#9    Taun

Taun

    A dashing moose about town...

  • Member
  • 7,568 posts
  • Joined:19 May 2010
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tornado Alley (Oklahoma)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:53 PM

Waspie... I remember as a kid in science class (back in the early 60's) there was talk that Mercury had a 'twilight zone'... a narrow band that seperated the day side from the night side - since Mercury was tidally locked to the sun, this area was thought to have tolerable temperatures in spots...  Of course sci-fi got ahold of that and there were some entertaining tales told of life in the twilight zone...

Later of course I learned that this was not the case...  sad really, a habitable twilight zone would have been pretty awesome...

Edited by Taun, 30 November 2012 - 06:54 PM.


#10    DONTEATUS

DONTEATUS

    Forum Divinity

  • Member
  • 19,031 posts
  • Joined:15 Feb 2008
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Planet TEXAS

Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:35 AM

Look to IO for Life !  THats where it all is !

This is a Work in Progress!

#11    DKO

DKO

    Ω is Futile.

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,837 posts
  • Joined:28 Aug 2011
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Western Australia

  • When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don't expect to see a zebra - Unless you're in Africa...

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:40 AM

Guess i'm a little naive. I took organic as meaning life, got really excited when I clicked on the link haha.

Thanks for clarifying Waspy.

The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe it. - Neil DeGrasse Tyson


Confucius Says:

Man who runs behind car gets exhausted.

Man who wants pretty nurse must be patient.


#12    Otto von Pickelhaube

Otto von Pickelhaube

    A complete moral vacuum

  • Member
  • 30,091 posts
  • Joined:09 May 2005
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The dwarf planet Makemake

  • Vampires are people too.

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

it's very interesting, isn't it. Water and oxygen potentially everywhere. Even if Mercury isn't exactly conducive, and even if Mars may not have enough water or atmosphere, then surely there's potential for all sorts of interesting discoveries in this, our very own solar system, before we even need to think about extrasolar planets. And to think that there are still people who smugly say "we know for a fact that there couldn't possibly be any life in our Solar system".

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

- Philip K. Dick.


#13    27vet

27vet

    Astral Projection

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 697 posts
  • Joined:26 Mar 2010
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In the tropics

  • Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.

Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:10 PM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 30 November 2012 - 01:30 PM, said:




Extraordinarily unlikely.

Mercury has even less chance of supporting life than the Moon (and the Moon's chances are as close to zero as makes no odds). The only areas where water can survive are the craters near the pole. These are in eternal darkness and the temperature will be far to cold for any kind of chemical reactions need for even the most basic life.

The rest of Mercury is either baked or frozen solid (depending on whether the Sun is above the horizon). The atmosphere (if you can call it that) is so tenuous that it can only be detected by very sensitive instruments and consists mostly of particles captured from the sun.

Although we know that life can survive in inhospitable places there are limits... too hot or too cold and the chemistry necessary just can not occur.

You're quite right, they give the temperature as 100K, but what about subsurface?


#14    joc

joc

    Adminstrator of Cosmic Blues

  • Member
  • 14,465 posts
  • Joined:12 Dec 2003
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Milky Way Galaxy 3rd planet

  • They're wearing steel that's bright and true
    They carry news that must get through
    They choose the path where no-one goes

Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:18 PM

Life is found all over the Planet Earth.  From the deepest ocean bottom, to the highest peaks, from the desert to the frozen tundra, in pools of water deep within caves, where there is no light.

So, you have an extremely uninhabitable temperature on the surface of Mercury.  And at the poles, we find ice.  Is it possible that a 'happy medium' exists where life might thrive there?  Somewhere, at some point it would seem to me that there is a location, maybe only a few square inches in area, where ice is actually water, where a very limited source of life could develop.  Do you think it inconceivable that a 'micro-atmosphere' might exist where the ice melts and evaporates, condenses and refreezes, etc.  Possibly in a cavern or crevice?

Posted Image
once i believed that starlight could guide me home
now i know that light is old and stars are cold

ReverbNation




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users