posted on Nov, 29 2009 @ 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Max_TO...One would think that water may / could / should , be found any place , as long as its not so hot where as
it would simply boil the liquid away , no ?
When we talk about large amounts of water existing on the surface of a body, it's not only the heat, but the atmospheric pressures that prevent it
from remaining lquid. For example, Mars is not hot enough for water to boil away (in fact it's quite freezing), but water ice that is exposed on the
surface of Mars quickly evaporates (sublimates). Ice exposed to the Sun on Mars gets enough energy to tranform from it's frozen state (even in the
cold temperatures), but the pressure is too low for it to be liquid. Water exposed to a vacuum here on Earth would "boil away", even at room
HAVING SAID THAT...I agree that we should no longer be surprised to find water in our solar system, nor should we be surprised to find water elsewhere
in our galaxy (in fact I started a thread a year or so ago that asked the same question -- but it's all good
, since my thread was so long
The idea that water would be rare is an old way of thinking that still persists among most people. Scientists are now learning that the opposite may
be true -- that ou solar system is very rich in water, and that water may be a very common molecule throughout our galaxy (and perhaps the universe in
general). The cloud of dust and gas that would eventually become our solar system was probably rich in water to begin with, and other protoplanetary
Scientists have run various models of the formation of solar systems from protoplanetary disks (from what we know about other protoplanetary disks)
and have found that water-rich planets would be a common thing. Infact, these scientists think that the earth is actually water-poor
to their models for planetary formation (the Earth is less than 1% water -- that's the WHOLE
Earth, not just the Earth's surface).
The molecule "H2O" may not be uncommon in the universe, but liquid water may still be uncommon. The window for the right temperature and
atmospheric condition for liquid water to exist is a small one. Although, at the same time, planets in the galaxy may be very abundant, so the odds
are still pretty favorable for liquid water to exist. Using spectroscopic analysis, the H2O molecule has been detected in abundance throughout the
galaxy and the universe.