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Jupiter Likely Holds Large Amounts of Water, Raises Prospects for Life

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posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 11:37 AM
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It turns out that our idea of Jupiter being just an inhospitable gas giant may need to be revised. I recently came across this article on phys.org stating that a team led by Gordon L. Bjoraker, astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, collected data that suggests large amounts of liquid water and water ice exist in the planet's cloud layers.

Image Source: NASA

According to the article, the team used ground-based telescopes at wavelengths sensitive to thermal radiation leaking from the depths of Jupiter's persistent storm, the Great Red Spot, and detected the chemical signatures of water above the planet's deepest clouds


Source Article

Bjoraker's team found evidence for (...) three cloud layers in the Great Red Spot, supporting earlier models. The deepest cloud layer is at 5 bars, the team concluded, right where the temperature reaches the freezing point for water, said Bjoraker, "so I say that we very likely found a water cloud."

The location of the water cloud, plus the amount of carbon monoxide that the researchers identified on Jupiter, confirms that Jupiter is rich in oxygen and, thus, water.


I probably don't know as much about Jupiter as fellow ATS'ers on here, but I would think that, if the findings are confirmed, they would considerably increase the chances for life on the gas giant.

A related video illustrates Carl Sagan's thoughts on potential life on Jupiter:

When also considering a recent study on Life on Water Worlds, the prospects for life on Jupiter (and its icy moons) start to look really good.

Hopefully, the Juno probe will confirm the abundant water reservoirs on Jupiter and perhaps it'll turn out that "hunters, floaters and sinkers" (as described in the video above), or similar creatures, are indeed part of a vast ecosystem in Jupiter's dense cloud layers.





SOURCES & LINKS:
---------------------------------------------
01. Is There Water on Jupiter? Great Red Spot May Hold the Answer
02. Life on Jupiter? Data Likely Confirms Water on Gas Giant
03. Water worlds could support life, study says
04. Carl Sagan's Cosmos: Life on Jupiter
05. Abstract of paper by Gordon L. Bjoraker and his team
06. Related article on phys.org
edit on 2-9-2018 by jeep3r because: formatting




posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 11:41 AM
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a reply to: jeep3r

Hard to imagine anything living in the pressure on Jupiter.. guess we will have to go find out.



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 11:41 AM
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a reply to: jeep3r

Even if there's water on the planet- wouldn't the vast amounts of radiation destroy any organic molecules?



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 11:45 AM
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If there is life on Jupiter, I would think it would microorganism due to the high pressures and gravity. But then, that a look at the deepest depths of our oceans. Anything is possible.





posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 11:51 AM
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I wonder if life can make a creature that can fly through space like a space ship. That'd be amazing.

On Jupitar they are prolly only microbes, then again there was a whole city in Ascending Jupitar.



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: jeep3r

I believe it is possible that where there is water there is life. It just may be that it is not the sorts of life that scientists have been looking for.

Every day we discover new forms of life previously undiscovered on our own planet, and it is often in places where scientists always thought that life could not possibly exist- and they were wrong!



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: watchandwait410

Absolutely, I'm a firm believer of space jellyfish. I think the cosmos is teeming with life out there.



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 12:03 PM
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I still think NASA should be utilizing all its resources to sending a probe to Jupiter's moon Europa... which can melt though that ice layer, so we can all see what exists in that liquid water ocean beneath.

Its the main thing I want to see humans do, before I check out of this 'thing' we generally refer to as "existence".



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 12:35 PM
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originally posted by: wylekat
a reply to: jeep3r

Even if there's water on the planet- wouldn't the vast amounts of radiation destroy any organic molecules?


I'm not sure how radiation would affect potential organisms on Jupiter, but one would think the dense atmosphere would provide sufficient protection.

Atmospheric pressure, gravity and the seemingly chaotic chemistry would make it difficult to imagine life. But perhaps there are islands of "balance" within these layers, with conditions just right for organisms to thrive?
edit on 2-9-2018 by jeep3r because: text



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 01:13 PM
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a reply to: jeep3r

I don't see how you go from water clouds to "abundant water reservoirs". Where exactly would those reservoirs be?

Jupiter gets hotter the deeper you go. The clouds happen to be exactly where it is cold enough for water to condensate.



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: moebius

That's actually mentioned in the first source at the end of this thread:


Source

With ground-based instruments on Earth, the team watched thermal radiation leak from the depths of the Great Red Spot. They found that above the clouds in this turbulent region's abyss, chemical signatures of water existed. Models, both theoretical and computer-generated, support their findings of "abundant" water on Jupiter.


Looking at all the sources, it seems like they're quite intrigued that the models are in line with their data and observations.



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 01:45 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
a reply to: jeep3r

Hard to imagine anything living in the pressure on Jupiter.. guess we will have to go find out.
In the upper atmosphere the pressure levels are comparable to what we enjoy on Earth.

It has long been suspected there are simple life forms in the atmospheres of Jupiter and also Venus.
edit on 2-9-2018 by Illumimasontruth because: Spelinng



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 06:39 PM
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originally posted by: Groot
If there is life on Jupiter, I would think it would microorganism due to the high pressures and gravity. But then, that a look at the deepest depths of our oceans. Anything is possible.




Or something super strong of any size.



posted on Sep, 2 2018 @ 07:04 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
a reply to: jeep3r

Hard to imagine anything living in the pressure on Jupiter.. guess we will have to go find out.


There are critters that live at the bottom of the deep oceans, even when water pressure down there is vastly greater than air pressure. It only takes 33 feet of water to match the 100 miles of air to reach 1 Atmosphere of pressure.

The only problem is that all that extra pressure changes the set of proteins and enzymes that can function normally. Any critter pulled up to the sea surface usually ends up physically disintegrating because the high pressure allows for fragile molecules to remain stable.



posted on Sep, 3 2018 @ 03:01 AM
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originally posted by: wylekat
a reply to: jeep3r

Even if there's water on the planet- wouldn't the vast amounts of radiation destroy any organic molecules?

There are microorganisms living in the Chernobyl reactor, actually using radiation as a source of energy. Even tardigrades can withstand huge amounts of radiation.

Life is clever in finding a way to survive, we mustn't underestimate it.



posted on Sep, 3 2018 @ 06:33 AM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

Its hard to imagine lifeforms living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, or around the natural sources of radiation and chemical outpourings to be found at that depth, and yet not only do we see creatures down there, but creatures that thrive off that which would kill more well known creatures, from shallower depths, or creatures from on land.

Its not a simple matter of high pressure, even the unimaginable pressure of the Jovian environment, being automatically impossible to thrive in. The issue is that the life which is likely to be there, will be, for all its hardihood, very difficult to identify and bare little to no resemblance to anything we have here on Earth, exactly because of the literally alien nature of the environment it came to live in.

Jupiter having water is an interesting sign, but even without it, we cannot discount the chance that life of a very alien nature, has sprouted there. The density of the atmosphere of Jupiter will be a very difficult problem to solve, if we are to ever discover its deepest secrets, the potential for life existing there being one of them. But water or not, it is a question we must ask. If the sum total of all human space science is going to devote itself to unmanned missions to the outer planets, rather than moving forward along the idealised projected path of advancement, then it is vital that we ease the stagnation effect that such failure represents, by at least working hard with probes and scopes, to discover what we can of our "nearby" planets.



posted on Sep, 3 2018 @ 06:48 AM
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a reply to: SeaWorthy

How about a life form whose structure is distributed, like a gaseous structure, whose parts, though bonded only weakly, communicate across relatively large gaps? Our synapses have very small spaces across which signals travel, but with the high radiation environment, perhaps there is enough energy in the environment that a gaseous entity could have its disparate parts communicate with one another over relatively large distances, what with the abundance of energy in the environment to use?

I have never heard of such a thing on Earth, but thats rather the point. It would be idiotic to assume that life in such an environment would be easily recognisable anyway, so since we are spitballing and speculating, lets get really whacky!



posted on Sep, 3 2018 @ 06:57 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit
Good post, I totally imagined some life form like that then my next thought was I hope our probes and ships won't hurt it/them by accident.
I also worry we'll contaminate Europa with something and wipe out any fishy type creatures there. That could be a disaster.



posted on Sep, 3 2018 @ 07:11 AM
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a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

That is a very serious risk, and any probe we send there will have to be totally bloody SPOTLESS, before its launched, maybe washed down with formic acid, then a neutraliser of some sort, just to ensure there are no remnants of biology from Earth, landing on Europa before we know what is down there, in the deeps.

Where Jupiter is concerned though, I am less worried, if only because nothing on this planet could survive the top few layers of contact with the atmosphere, without being utterly destroyed by the environment there.



posted on Sep, 3 2018 @ 07:24 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit
It's a tough old beast of a planet for sure. This is pretty cool, I remember it...the best images are right at the end:



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