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Waspie_Dwarf

Ocean-covered planets not the best for life?

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Ocean-covered planets may not be the places to search for life

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Although water worlds are awash with one of the key ingredients for life, surprisingly, they might not be the best places to find it.

Tessa Fisher, a graduate student at Arizona State University in Tempe, and her colleagues presented this counter-intuitive idea last week at the Habitable Worlds conference in Laramie, Wyoming. Her research shows that a planet soaked in oceans could be starved of phosphorus – a major component of DNA and other important molecules.

arrow3.gif  Read More: New Scientist

 

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Life is the biggest mystery of all.  What is the reason for all the energy of the universe combined?  Yet, here we are :)

 

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 “I think the major breakthrough with this is that someone finally put the astronomers and the oceanographers and the biologists all in one room.”

They are also finally putting archaeologists, geneticists and historians in one room. 

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I think some scientists have too many assumptions about what's essential for life given the fact that our only example is our measly little planet in a sea of planets. it's a bit reaching to say that a water rich planet will be starved of prosperous and therefore likely no life. Rocks in the form of asteroids probably would hit oceanic worlds all the time, likely bringing in phosphorous but I'm wondering how a planet having 3 or 4 times less phosphorus in the oceans than Earth is somehow a guarantee that life cannot thrive there? I'm sure earth would be fine with less phosphorus providing it's not completely devoid of it.

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It would be a terrible assumption to say that life can't exist on a water world. Because if we are the only life to exist then the universe is a waste of space. I don't think the question is that life can't, but what kind of life could?

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Deep sea volcanic vents might offer some insights ...

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[00.01:53]

 

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On 11/22/2017 at 5:26 PM, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Ocean-covered planets may not be the places to search for life

 

Yeah... Because we know the ocean is an unlikely place for life to exist... :lol:

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2 hours ago, Nnicolette said:

Yeah... Because we know the ocean is an unlikely place for life to exist... :lol:

If you think that 1 in trillions =likely then you really do need a beginners course in statistics. 

The reality is that in the entire universe we only know of one world that has life. We don't know if life us common or rare. We don't know if Earth is typical of planets with life. We don't know if ocean worlds are likely to have life or not.

So you go ahead, carry on ridiculing things you don't understand.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
Typo.
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On 11/22/2017 at 6:40 PM, NightScreams said:

I think some scientists have too many assumptions about what's essential for life given the fact that our only example is our measly little planet in a sea of planets. it's a bit reaching to say that a water rich planet will be starved of prosperous and therefore likely no life. Rocks in the form of asteroids probably would hit oceanic worlds all the time, likely bringing in phosphorous but I'm wondering how a planet having 3 or 4 times less phosphorus in the oceans than Earth is somehow a guarantee that life cannot thrive there? I'm sure earth would be fine with less phosphorus providing it's not completely devoid of it.

  It occurs to me that a world completely covered in water might not have salty oceans. There would be no erosive run-off from land. It's generally held that such run-off  is what washes the sodium and chloride, which make up salt, into the oceans.

A non-salty ocean could be capable of efficiently taking up phosphorous in solution, unlike salty ones. It's been suggested that most bio-available forms of phosphorus may have been brought to Earth by meteorites. 

Edited by bison
removed duplicate word, general rewording,improved paragraph structure
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