posted on May, 13 2006 @ 07:30 PM
I'd like to take some time and some space for us to envision a world in a faraway star system, perhaps beyond our Milky Way Galaxy.
Let's make this planet be within the habital regions of whatever star it orbits. Since we want life to evolve on this planet, we have to make it a
less massive star, one with a life-span of at least 6 billion years. If we put our planet around a blue or white super-giant star, the star will burn
for only a few tens of millions of years or less before going nova, so life won't have a chance at evolving anything past molecular stages.
I do want to make this a hotter star though - one with a little more radiation coming off of it. It's probably a bit whiter than our star appears to
be from Earth.
Let's also say this planet forms at a distance a little bit further away from that sun than our Earth is from our sun. Essentially, since the star's
warmer, the planet will be warmer, but since it's a little bit further away, it'll be cooler. Essentially we should end up with a planet of similar
temperatures that one would have that travelled 1/3 of the way to Venus.
How large will this planet be? Well, I'd like to say it'd be small - that as our own system demonstrates, gases close to a star are quickly sucked
up by that star, and gases further away form gas giants, not having had time to be incorporated into the sun.
However, we have found systems where huge gas giants orbit their respective suns at distances like that of Mercury - though most do tend to be away
from their parent star at a distance like Pluto or further (though it should be noted that these are super-giants we have discovered, some more than
ten times the mass of Jupiter, and so have been detectable through measuring stellar "wobbles" - other, very different, solar systems may yet
So let's increase the amount of dust that collected to form this planet we'll name Prometheus. Prometheus has a gravitational force of 1.5Gs, and a
diameter about a quarter greater than the earth.
Prometheus is also made from a lot of heavy elements, much like Earth. We have Carbon, Iron, some gold and other things. However, unlike the Earth,
Prometheus will not have a moon. In fact, unlike the earth, almost all of the metals are buried inside the planet - since whilst the planet was
molten, density differences made all the elements form into their own sections around the core. At the same time this means that whilst Gold will be
far down into the planet, it is concentrated at that depth. We could call it "the gold sphere". Carbon, thankfully, is a light element, and so will
rise to the top. This is why Earth's crust is predominantly carbon. Why do we have so many precious elements? Well, early in earth's history - a
planetoid roughly the size of Mars crashed into the Earth, sending elements from within the core, out to a rapidly cooling surface - and so a lot of
the heavy metals were brought to outside the surface, though still the majority remain in their sections beneath the earth (Iron's at the center
being one of the most dense, and also most abundant, elements in the earth).
On the surface we have hydrogen, helium, some amonia, and other trace gases. Oxygen doesn't exist - or where it does exist it is quickly and
voraciously consumed by hydrogen, and intense heat during the earth's cooling has forced it to combine with a lot of carbon. Still, we end up with a
lot of water, if oxygen is present, and carbon dioxide - but almost no pure oxygen. It's all locked up. On earth, our gravity allowed hydrogen and
helium to drift away - being too light a substance to remain locked in by gravity. On Prometheus, however, perhaps hydrogen and helium still exist.
So, now, on this world - life has a chance to evolve.
At first all the elements are here for the creation of carbon based life. As shown by expirments, utilizing electric arcs and pulses to simulate
lightning or long-duration UV exposure, amino acids and even simple proteins quickly come into existance. The atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan, is
proof that when these basic elements exist, and energy is introduced, the buildingblocks of life are quickly constructed.
We know that, eventually, a protein, or acid, or some kind of complex combination of random factors will cause a molecule like, though maybe not
exactly like, DNA to form. In fact, multiple kinds of molecules like DNA could form. Quickly they'll begin to consume the organic soup of chemicals
that is still being created in the skies above. They're not expelling any waste - using only the natural resources around them to make either copies
of themselves, or perhaps just longer and longer versions of themselves - like a self-combining polymer that just stretches on like an endless strain
Well, here's some groundwork. I have 150 characters left (exactly 150 at the "0"), and so I'll either continue on later, or let you, the reader,
add on to this exciting topic.