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Are oceans mandatory for life to develop ?


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#1    UM-Bot

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:58 PM

A new study has concluded that an exoplanet requires a liquid water ocean in order to sustain life.

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While Earth's oceans have long been recognized as a vital ingredient in the development of life on our own planet, scientists have long pondered over whether or not a liquid ocean is a necessity in order to sustain life elsewhere in the universe.

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#2    DefenceMinisterMishkin

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:01 PM

Probably not :-*

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#3    questionmark

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:01 PM

The geobacter research (see science forum) seems to negate that.

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#4    magikgoddess

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:17 PM

So no stable atmosphere equals no life?  This is the gist I'm getting from the article.  

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#5    questionmark

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:23 PM

View Postmagikgoddess, on 21 July 2014 - 09:17 PM, said:

So no stable atmosphere equals no life?  This is the gist I'm getting from the article.  

Just wait a while and they will find that this assumption is also false. But yes, that is the current assumption.

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#6    shrooma

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:25 PM

View PostUM-Bot, on 21 July 2014 - 07:58 PM, said:

A new study has concluded that an exoplanet requires a liquid water ocean in order to sustain life.

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of course it does.
how else would you be able to make enough Guinness to keep all the (ever-present!) oirish bars open!!
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#7    Paranomaly

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:25 PM

Not mandatory, it helps the microbial organisms locomotion and access to more food sources.


#8    magikgoddess

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:26 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 21 July 2014 - 09:23 PM, said:

Just wait a while and they will find that this assumption is also false. But yes, that is the current assumption.

I would hope it to be false.  Life is creative and can defy rules (didn't they just find some that live entirely on electricity after all)...  

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#9    questionmark

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:36 PM

View Postmagikgoddess, on 21 July 2014 - 09:26 PM, said:

I would hope it to be false.  Life is creative and can defy rules (didn't they just find some that live entirely on electricity after all)...  

Life needs one primordial thing: A possibility to generate energy. With an atmosphere that is easier (using gases for a exoenergetic reaction) and much easier with the combination of liquids and gases for this reaction. At the same time there must be a organism that transfers the byproducts of that reaction back to their original state (i.e. animals and plants or bacteria and algae or a mix of those) so the organism does not poison itself on its "excrement".

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#10    shrooma

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:49 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 21 July 2014 - 09:36 PM, said:

there must be a organism that transfers the byproducts of that reaction back to their original state, so the organism does not poison itself on its "excrement".
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mine must have the week off QM, if the ringsting after last night's chicken phaal is anything to go by!
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#11    Rolci

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 05:25 AM

so a constant 100% humidity atmosphere is no good then?


#12    paperdyer

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:11 PM

What I think is a bit off in all of these theories is the "Habital Zone" is based on Earth life necessities.  We may find life somewhere that needs more heat or less depending on how it was spawned..


#13    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:25 PM

View Postpaperdyer, on 22 July 2014 - 01:11 PM, said:

What I think is a bit off in all of these theories is the "Habital Zone" is based on Earth life necessities.  We may find life somewhere that needs more heat or less depending on how it was spawned..
The habitable zone is not based on Earth life's necessities as such. It is based on the properties of water. It is where water can exist in liquid form. Since water has some rather unique properties and is an abundant molecule there is fair reason to speculate that most life will utilise it.

Given that you can only base a habitable zone on the properties of known life and not (for obvious reasons) on unknown it is the best we can do at the moment.

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#14    questionmark

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:34 PM

View PostRolci, on 22 July 2014 - 05:25 AM, said:

so a constant 100% humidity atmosphere is no good then?

I wonder how an atmosphere ever would be constantly 100% humid, unless it always has also the same temperature... and that would make that planet a curiosity. Yes I can imagine a planet that rotates so fast that day and night have no influence on the temperature or a planet so far away from the its star that its atmospheric temperature comes mostly from geothermal activity... but the type of life that would be quite different from what we know. Still, it is possible.

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#15    Rolci

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 02:42 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 22 July 2014 - 01:34 PM, said:

I wonder how an atmosphere ever would be constantly 100% humid, unless it always has also the same temperature... and that would make that planet a curiosity. Yes I can imagine a planet that rotates so fast that day and night have no influence on the temperature or a planet so far away from the its star that its atmospheric temperature comes mostly from geothermal activity... but the type of life that would be quite different from what we know. Still, it is possible.

Of course it's possible, all you need is a thick atmosphere, like that on Venus, and voila, constant temperatures sorted. A little thermal inertia here and a little transfer of heat by winds there, and you have constant temperatures served on a silver plate, plus you don't even need to be close to your parent star to feel warm and cozy, which is good news if you're worried about cosmic radiation, which, depending on the composition of the atmosphere, shouldn't be much of a problem anyway. Plus, as you mentioned, thermal energy is another viable alternative, which is also more or less evenly distributed, and evened out even further by winds. With that atmosphere, if it happens to maintain a 100% water humidity, I can't see why life shouldn't be able to strive on that. Indeed, no need for oceans. They only take up valuable land.

Edited by Rolci, 22 July 2014 - 02:44 PM.

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