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Saru

Could there be life on Pluto ?

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Scientists have discovered the 'building blocks of life' on the surface of the cold, distant world Pluto.

Using the Hubble Space Telescope’s Cosmic Origins Spectrograph researchers discovered evidence of complex organic molecules which may be responsible for giving the planet its ruddy color.

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No.

Too cold.

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^^^^

Thanks for your detailed scientific analysis...

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I'm glad that King Fluffs is so well versed in astrobiology, organic chemistry and the inner workings of Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph so that he can give us such a precise and accurate description of the implausibilities of oraganic compounds existing on Pluto.

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While some organisms can live in very hot environments - like bacteria do in undersea volcanic vents - I don't see how the other extreme of temperature could be viable... at least for life forms as we know them...

Perhaps some microbial life form can exist at nearly absolute zero (Absolute zero is 0 degrees Kelvin - about -460 F or -270 C)... Pluto gets down to about 33 Kelvin or about -400 F or -260 C)... I seriously doubt if any larger life form can exist in such extreme temperature...

What defines Absoulte Zero is that entropy reaches it's maximum value... That means that energy is not available for work in a thermodynamic process... While total absoulte zero (0 K) has never been reached in a natural process, 33 K is cold enough that extremely little energy is available for life processes... Again perhaps a molecular lifeform could 'eek out' enough energy to exist... but I don't see how anything larger could...

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I read about this on Gizmodo and they stressed this has nothing to do with "Life" and everything to do with Fuel.

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No.

Too cold.

But that's exactly the kind of thing that prevents people from discovering things; they assume that it couldn't possibly happen, because it doesn't fit with their established paradigms, and so they dismiss it out of hand. That's not how ground-breaking discoveries were made; they were made by people who were prepared to look beyond what they "knew" to be possible.

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But that's exactly the kind of thing that prevents people from discovering things; they assume that it couldn't possibly happen, because it doesn't fit with their established paradigms, and so they dismiss it out of hand. That's not how ground-breaking discoveries were made; they were made by people who were prepared to look beyond what they "knew" to be possible.

Exactly! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremophile

http://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/articles/07_03/extremo.shtml

http://www.space.com/175-extremophiles-extreme.html

COLD LOVING LIFE

Because so much of cell composition is water, and life evolved in water, most organisms live their lives within the freezing (0 degrees C) and boiling points (100 degrees C) of water. Organisms generally prefer between 15-45 degrees C, and we all have our preferences! Above 45 degrees C, organisms are considered warm-loving (thermophiles), extremely warm-loving (hyperthermophiles) and below 15 degrees C, cold-loving (psychrophiles). You and I are mesophiles, in the lower middle of the range.

Cold-loving organisms have been found in ice. Some algae, for example, can grow in a mat under the polar ice, as well as on the surface of glaciers.

What happens to cells when water gets colder? When water freezes it makes ice crystals that are spiky and hard and destructive to cells. Also, when movements slow down, membranes tend to gel and transportation of ions across the cell membrane slows down. It is harder and harder for an organism to grow.

So how do extremophiles survive the cold? One strategy is to make the cell walls very fluid by inserting unsaturated fats. In some organisms chains get shorter, and double bonds are inserted by enzymes to make the short strand robust. Although extremophiles can't grow well in cold, but they can "hunker down" and "tough it out" for along time.

Frogs and turtles have a very different strategy. Ice crystals form more easily with a "seed to start their growth. So, as winter approaches, frogs and turtles make A LOT of ice nuclei, using ice nucleation proteins, to make sure that the crystals will be very very small. (How do they work? The protein found in a winter flounder is a very simple a helix - 37 amino acids - screw. with caps at each end of hydrogen bonds. Three of the amino acids at every third turn are the triad that "recognizes and binds to the ice crystal". They make a very FLAT surface that links by hydrogen bonds to the facet of a crystal.) As a result, 65% of their body fluids can turn to ice and not damage the cells. They also make stress proteins that help repair damage.

Source

These are just Earth-life examples above and below, are hypothetical space-life.

Silicone-Based Life

Silicon life would probably be based on Silicones, polymers of alternating silicon and oxygen. While in general silicones are less stable than hydrocarbons, they would have an advantage in certain environments. In particular, in an atmosphere or environment where sulfuric acid was common, silicones would have greater resilience than carbon-based molecules.

Silicones do run into some troubles, however. Namely, silicon that gets exposed to oxygen often forms silicon dioxide. Since it would be the analog of carbon dioxide, there's reason to believe such life would exhale it as part of respiration - breathing out dust and sand. Silicon dioxide is a solid at most temperatures, and not water-soluble, so you'd have problems removing this waste from cells, recycling biological material, etc. Now, "life may find a way", and in the case of silicone-life it's possible the solution would be ammonia. See Ammonia as Biological Solvent for a discussion of how it might work.

So, the environments most friendly to Silicon-based life are rich in ammonia and sulfuric acid. Ammonia's boiling point is below water's freezing point, so the planet would either be very cold or have extreme pressure (because at higher pressures, the boiling point of ammonia is much higher) - say, 60 atmospheres. Ice Giants and places like Titan, moon of Saturn might be viable habitats for silicon-based life. In other words, any planet likely to be hospitable to silicon life isn't going to be nice for humans. Maybe, just maybe, you might be able to get around that by having a Cloud Planet scenario - a layered Gas Giant that has some breathable earth-atmosphere at the high altitudes and a high-pressure silicone-ammonia environment further down. The notion of shared environments is iffy, to say the least.

Source (read more!)

:geek:

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Mickey mouse says there is life on Pluto....He has flees

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Mickey mouse says there is life on Pluto....He has flees

LOL Took me a minute to realize and appreciate this comment! At first, I was like, hmmm. Then it clicked! :sk

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All our assumptions are being broken the more we study the universe. The more we explore even our own solar system we our being surprised where we are finding signs of life whether Pluto,Europa,Callisto,Ganymede,Enceladaus and Titan. What new unexpected surprises are still to come time will tell.

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All our assumptions are being broken the more we study the universe. The more we explore even our own solar system we our being surprised where we are finding signs of life whether Pluto,Europa,Callisto,Ganymede,Enceladaus and Titan. What new unexpected surprises are still to come time will tell.

Just to clarify.. We are not finding signs of life, we are merely finding the "building blocks" of life. Meaning, that life can arise from these "building blocks". To be even more precise..

Complex hydrocarbon molecules are thought to have been crucial to the first life on planet earth.

The new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble space telescope has discovered the first hints that these chemicals might be present in an unlikely place - the rocky, icy surface of the distant dwarf planet Pluto.

The spectrograph discovered a strong 'absorber' of ultraviolet light on the surface - which hints at hydrocarbons lying there.

Source

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There is a very cool explanation of a possible way this could be in a series of books by Jame P. Hogan. Giants of Ganymede

These fiction books really had an affect on my perception of our solar system and possible origin of our species.

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There is a very cool explanation of a possible way this could be in a series of books by Jame P. Hogan. Giants of Ganymede

These fiction books really had an affect on my perception of our solar system and possible origin of our species.

Awesome! I've always had an awesome imagination. I used to think Humans could have killed off the dinos. Could be true if we had high tech in our past. Would fit in with our mysterious origins. Forgetting the tech would make sense too, especially if only a handful of humans colonized. I'll buy this series.. Thanks for the suggestion! :yes::geek:

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Awesome! I've always had an awesome imagination. I used to think Humans could have killed off the dinos. Could be true if we had high tech in our past. Would fit in with our mysterious origins. Forgetting the tech would make sense too, especially if only a handful of humans colonized. I'll buy this series.. Thanks for the suggestion! :yes::geek:

You're welcome. These books were written in the 70's but if memory serves, are in many ways accurate to the types of tech we have now such as laptops,internet, cellphones, etc.

They also offer explanations to our religions, wars, superstitions.........

Anyway, I really enjoyed them and hadn't thought about them for years until I saw this thread, probably gonna have to download them to my kindle and re-read them.

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I'm no expert but I do know life has been found to be surviving under the most surprisingly extreme conditions here on Earth. So I wouldn't rule this out just yet.

Edited by Device

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Does Pluto have a molten core? It could have them under water, or under ice, thermal vents that life likes to thrive on.

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I wonder if Mr.Freeze would be able to survive on Pluto

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Thanks for your detailed scientific analysis...

Always happy to lend a hand, WelshRed.

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if this is where stephen hawking is looking at colonising, he can sod off!!!

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Te be quite honest, I would be surprised if the building blocks for life were absent, as they are common in space.

Life's Building Blocks 'Abundant in Space' LINK

The idea that comets and meteorites seeded an early Earth with the tools to make life has gained momentum from recent observations of some of these building blocks floating throughout the cosmos.

Scientists scanning a galaxy 12 million light-years away with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected copious amounts of nitrogen containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PANHs), molecules critical to all known forms of life.

PANHs aren't the first of life's building blocks to be discovered in space – amino acids, the nuts and bolts of proteins, have also been found in the tails of comets. Meteorites that have landed in Australia and Antarctica also contain amino acids and PANHs.

"This tells us that these things that we see out in space can survive interstellar space and successfully be delivered to the surface of a planet," Hudgins said.

Does not mean life

Some scientists even think that a Martian meteorite found in Antarctica shows signs of extraterrestrial bacteria and that sugar-loaded asteroids may have fed early life on our planet.

While PANHs are abundant in interstellar space, Hudgins says this doesn't prove that terrestrial life has extra-terrestrial origins. But, to paraphrase Occam's Razor, given two equally likely theories, choose the simpler.

"This isn't proof that they were used, but a likely suggestion," Hudgins said. "They were present in abundance at the dawn of time and could have been useful in creating the first life form."

Edited by psyche101

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