Question Inhabitable place?

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
There is a really good photo of the surface near
Rhadamanthys Linea in Astronomy Now June 2019.

Also an excellent 6 page article entitled (Europa) Is there life . . . under the ice? Astronomy August 2001.
 
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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Sounds like Europa has a shortage of every essential resource required for a colony except water.
Ken, this amplifies (and does not contradict) your statement but seems maybe a little more optimistic?

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/moons/jupiter-moons/europa/in-depth/

"Europa’s vast and unfathomably deep ocean is widely considered the most promising place to look for life beyond Earth. A passing spacecraft might even be able to sample Europa’s ocean without landing on the moon’s surface because it is possible that Europa’s ocean may be leaking out into space."
 
Oct 14, 2019
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I have been reading all I can on Europa for these reasons. I see that Space.com itself has some good articles on the topic.


I admit that I've not even started looking into Enceladus yet.
Happy day!
 
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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
It is very interesting that there is liquid water in the outer Solar System. Looking at surface temperatures, taking Jupiter and Titan (largest satellite of Saturn) as examples:

The temperature in the clouds of Jupiter is about minus 145 degrees Celsius
Although it moves in latitude, the maximum measured temperature on Titan remains around --179.6 degrees Celsius, 93.6 Kelvin).

Since there is little warmth from the Sun, we have to look for internal heating to find water at or above 0 degrees C,,

The major heating source of Earth and its moon is radioactive heating, but the heating source on Io is tidal heating.
 
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Dec 29, 2019
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MJ - sorry, I was thinking inhabitable, as in somewhere people might be able to live rather than inhabitable as in non-terrestrial life might live there. Looking for evidence of life is very good reason to look closer at Europa but it does not look suited to colonisation.
 
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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
MJ - sorry, I was thinking inhabitable, as in somewhere people might be able to live rather than inhabitable as in non-terrestrial life might live there. Looking for evidence of life is very good reason to look closer at Europa but it does not look suited to colonisation.
Back to the gushers for the first point and nods of agreement (at least in the short to medium term) for the second. Cat :)
 
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Mar 19, 2020
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Comes back to how we define inhabitable.
Despite the presence of liquid water, the super cold temperatures are almost certainly a thermodynamic barrier to the chemical activity required to formulate life, or even sustain it in the absence of a thermally acceptable habitat.

For any of these really cold moons that are believed to have liquid water, does anyone have a mechanism to get a reasonable temperature (ca. 5-25C) to provide an environment where life could form and survive? It seems totally impossible for a really cold aqueous milieu to provide the conditions for all those critical chemical reactions to occur.

Reactions for life require in the chemicals considerable translational, rotational and vibrational energies in order to form new covalent bonds, undergo highly complex interactions, form membranes, etc. Really low temperatures, even with everything else you need, is likely a very dead-end, literally and figuratively.
 
Mar 19, 2020
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The expectations , IIRC, are that the ocean bottoms will have some thermal vents to allow favorable conditions for life.
You only have thermal vents with a hot core. None of these are suggested to have hot cores. Tidal "heating" is what seems to be the primary source for liquid water in all cases. If it gets us into the room temperature range, that might work. But long term stability of that temperature is critical. It can't be bouncing around from one century to next, or whenever.

The thermodynamic barriers are easily cleared on the rocky planets through some period of their existence. They all have/had hot cores. The thermal activity required of complex biomolecules and all the mechanisms involved is not going to happen, in slow motion, in really cold water.

Life is by far the most complex organization of matter known to man. The simplest life form today requires an enormous number of enzymatic activities, etc. going on, all at the same time. For this reason, life on earth has a limited temperature range in which to accomplish this. It is pure chemistry, but on a grand scale.

And modern life has had about 4 billion years to evolve to where it is today. One must assume there were more severe constraints on the start-up, since conditions had to meet exacting requirements. Chemical evolution into the first life very likely had much less wiggle room than that granted by evolution.

Extremophiles aside (they evolve later), one has to consider this enormous complexity and the likelihood of it happening in the deep cold (without a heat source as you noted). Certainly it will be found that skeptics in the biochemistry community number more than one.
 
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Aug 14, 2020
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The most habitable place in the solar system, next to the Earth, is a space colony.

Humans moved from rock caves in the Earth (the low ground of Earth) to constructing homes and other facilities and networks, including transportation networks, on the surface of the Earth (the high ground ground of the Earth). Humans will move from a rock cave in space (the low ground of space) to constructing [gravitied] homes and other facilities and networks, including transportation networks, on the surface of space (the high ground of space).
 
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