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Are Planets Necessary for Life?

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posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 06:54 PM
It has recently been confirmed through visual analysis that water does not only exist on comets, but on asteroids as well.

Source .

The implications of the discovery of organic molecules on the asteroid as well show that 'organic' stuff forms easily and naturally.

That said, I want to talk about water in space.

If the entire mass of water from the Great Lakes were put into a capsule and brought into space and then the capsule was somehow incinerated (without also incinerating the water, bear with me I know that's impossible) what would the water do?

What would the Oxygen within the water do?

Would it maintain its bondage, and remain a large body of water? If so, does this mean that there could be 'oceans' in deep space and that these oceans could exist independently of planetary objects? I assume the 'ocean' would have to be massive and near enough to a star to keep from being frozen but why aren't their 'hot zones' in the universe or 'warm zones' for that matter?

Sorry if these are retarded questions but I am legitimately curious.

[edit on 30-4-2010 by sremmos]

posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 07:08 PM
That would be absoultely amazing if such things existed out in the universe, I think it's a legitimate theory... Since some lifeforms even on Earth don't need oxygen, I wonder if lifeforms exist within nebulas as well.

Can you imagine the beasts that might exist on a ocean planet dozens or hundreds of times the size of Earth?

posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 07:22 PM
Haha star in a jar, it would be unimaginable and cool. That's the type of stuff I'm talking about, I'm really curious if it's possible or if water just dissipates away or what.

Would a large enough body of water (planet sized) have a planet strength gravitational pull? I mean if so there could be 'water planets' out there.

posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 07:40 PM
reply to post by sremmos

The water in the Great Lakes wouldn't be nearly enough...but the universe is a big place, so let's make the assumption that, somewhere out there, a sufficiently large mass of water has accumulated.

Also assuming that no significant external forces are acting on the water mass, it will pull itself into a spherical shape due to surface tension and gravity.

Here's a video of water in zero G. (technically, in microgravity). The scale is different by several orders of magnitude, but the forces are the same.
Water in zero G

The temperature gradients will be unusual...on a planet like Earth, there is internal heating from radioactive decay and geological activity, as well as external heating from the sun. On 'water world', there won't be that internal heat the deep oceans will be very cold, perhaps frozen.

I'm not sure life could ever develop in that sort of environment, but it would be a fascinating place to study.

posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 07:41 PM
I doubt that a planet is necessary for life. All you need are the basic building blocks, and an adaptable enough being to survive in the given area. Other than that, I suppose that it is theoretically possible for life to evolve somewhere other than a planet. If you have read Guy Murchie's "The Seven Mysteries of Life" he actually makes a good case for suns, rocks, galaxies, etc., actually being alive in their own way. But, if you see this as senseless, then it is still possible for life (as we currently understand it) to evolve without a planet. However, it would be very different from the life we are used to.

posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 07:45 PM

Originally posted by star in a jar
That would be absoultely amazing if such things existed out in the universe, I think it's a legitimate theory... Since some lifeforms even on Earth don't need oxygen, I wonder if lifeforms exist within nebulas as well.

Can you imagine the beasts that might exist on a ocean planet dozens or hundreds of times the size of Earth?

Shameless plug: Check out "The Integral Trees" by Larry Niven. The premise is a civilization set in a 'smoke ring' of breathable air around a neutron star. Not quite an 'ocean world'...but an 'air world'.

posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 07:53 PM
Thanks for all the contributions so far, very interesting stuff. I'll check out that book Illuminatus. Brother Stormhammer and I'm watching the Zero Gravity video right now. Calling my mom to see if her she can get these books through her book club, haha.

VERY cool stuff so far, glad I made this thread!

It appears I'm definitely not alone in thinking that life doesn't require planetary objects to come about.

The implication of large water bodies in space would also be that asteroids or even planets might 'hit' them as well.

[edit on 30-4-2010 by sremmos]

posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 08:16 PM
reply to post by sremmos

I think there'll have to be some gravitional force holding the water molecules together, not only to keep it from freezing and breaking up/scattering since there is no gravity and eventually getting vaporized by its sun but it won't even need to be warm.

He're a link about organisms that survive in icy environments, so there could be life far from warmth-giving suns.organisms that live in ice or slush

There could be life contained within specific atmospheric layers on a gas giant, and these 'sweet spot' layers could be as wide as the Earth, surviving on whatever gases, water-based or otherwise, it evolved on.

When the comet chain Shoemaker-levy hit Jupiter a few years back, it could have caused mass extinctions within its layers because each of these hits produced Earth-sized explosive blasts that stirred up Jupiter's atmosphere.

posted on Apr, 30 2010 @ 09:27 PM
A giant watery planet with an icy core... What would happen to it's core, crushing in on it's on weight? Would it ignite under pressure?

I'd propose Paradoxzzt-743WP-QL as it's name...
But as a concept, if it was full of life, It would become a muddy planet over time with all the decomposed remains... with a bony material core... But if there was an atmosphere, much likely due to decomposition gases mixed with water vapor, I bet some species would adapt to become amphibious like with the capacity of temporary flight while others would develop "blimp" like qualities of flight to remain airborne at all times, using long fish-line like organs to capture a prey to feed and produce the necessary gases to stay in the air.
Most species would be jellyfish like, having few hard materials to rely on. Except for the deep sea creatures that would use ice as bone material, with a form of antifreeze for blood and greasy liquids.
But, with the muddering of the planet, ultra-hard argyle will be developed as the new bone material, allowing at one point one intelligent specie to build housings and stuffs.
One day, one of them, a genius, will build a hydrogen bomb... and detonate it... Then... I have no idea, you got me there... Maybe the atmosphere will catch on fire, and the planet will evaporate...


posted on May, 8 2010 @ 09:33 PM
Certainly an interesting question.

Having a planet surface with a reasonably rich organic chemistry & some requisite amount of water has certain notable properties that might be more favorable for life [& its development].

A planet creates a gravity well. Combined with the [presumably non-molten] surface creates a container. A kind of bottle or containment field. The pressure of the gravity of an atmosphere &/or waterbody may drive [enable?] certain chemical processes.
It sort of forces the organic chemicals to be more interactive with one another.
It is like a condensation field of organic chemistry.
Out in the void of space the molecules are not as forced/imposed on one another.

Although a free-floating body/glob of water might create a sufficient context, because the polar active solvent nature of water might be enough.
Water does tend to bead up in free-fall due to its highly polar characteristics.

It isn't impossible that there might be life forms out in the depths of space, but i will venture that the vast majority of those evolved on the face of some planet or at least some domain with condensed organic chemistry.

posted on May, 9 2010 @ 04:40 AM
Life can be thought of simply a higher organizational state of matter. Such a state would ensue whenever the conditions for it were propitious. Life is probably quite a common phenomen in the cosmos.

Intelligence, which seems to demand an even higher organizational state, would be somewhat rarer.

However, the universe is huge, and most of it is empty.

posted on May, 9 2010 @ 02:31 PM
The OP question re water holding together in zero-G conditions: yes I believe it would do that and the minimum amount to form a stable sphere would not be terribly much at all. I recall the 'old' method of manufacturing lead spherical projectiles for black powder weapons and it was as simple as dropping a measured quantity of molten lead from a moderate height sufficient for it to form a perfect sphere and partially solidify on the way down to a tub of cold water at the bottom. These were called 'shot towers' and there's actually one still standing near here (tourist attraction now). The zero-G environment for a liquid mass to stay together can be achieved by being in a stable orbit around a larger mass like a star or planet. Finding a place anywhere in space outside of a fixed orbit with zero external gravity influences might be more than a little problematic.

Jupiter's moon Europa *could* be such a world as all we can see appears to be ice with no land mass visible above the ice surface. As for life forming in such an environment, complex life forms require more complex varieties of elements and a hydrogen/oxygen mix alone would be too basic IMHO. I think of hard components of lifeforms like teeth, bones, shells, fur, hair etc that require a mineral base like calcium for example. Complex nervous systems require many heavier elements than H & O. This doesn't rule out the possibility of life based on elements other than carbon but water alone just doesn't have the 'goods' to build organisms although it's an essential part of supporting life in our world.

[edit on 9/5/2010 by Pilgrum]

posted on May, 9 2010 @ 02:36 PM
In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series there's an episode where you see these giant flying whale-looking things They suvived off of the gasses in the nebula. It was pretty amazing watching that, even if it was just a cartoon.

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