Our Milky Way galaxy may be teeming with ocean worlds

Jun 22, 2020
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Seems to me that there are too many articles here with "may be" alien life. There may be alien life. Is that news? I suppose it must sell. I'd prefer to see about 90% "is" stories rather than "may be" stories.
 

Wolfshadw

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Apr 1, 2020
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While I agree with you, I think the problem is that science is mostly theory and few facts. If editorial waited for just confirmed facts before publishing anything, we'd have maybe one or two stories per year and that doesn't bring in a lot of visitors.

-Wolf sends
 
Jun 22, 2020
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Remember what the article says:

this information could be important in helping researchers to better choose which exoplanets they might want to study or where they might send probes in the future.
This is ground-laying work for the future. It's this type of "may be" science that will better inform and guide future exoplanet surveys with next-generation telescopes. Observing time is costly and therefore it's better to have a list of potential good targets than to "blindly" point these instruments.
 
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rod

Oct 22, 2019
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FYI, here is the paper and abstract on this exoplanet study. Forecasting Rates of Volcanic Activity on Terrestrial Exoplanets and Implications for Cryovolcanic Activity on Extrasolar Ocean Worlds, "...we estimate total internal heating rates for 53 exoplanets with masses and radii up to ~8M ⊕ and 2R ⊕, respectively, assuming that internal heating is drawn from both radiogenic and tidal sources."

An 8 earth mass exoplanet with radius 2 earth radii has mean density close to Earth's about 5.5 g cm^-3. Another report on this study says, "Some have suggested that some of these planets could be watery, and Quick's estimates support this idea. According to her team's calculations, TRAPPIST-1 e, f, g and h could be ocean worlds, which would put them among the 14 ocean worlds the scientists identified in this study.", https://phys.org/news/2020-06-planets-oceans-common-galaxy-nasa.html

TRAPPIST-1 e is listed a bit larger than 0.6 earth masses orbiting a red dwarf star, http://exoplanet.eu/catalog/trappist-1_e/, and, https://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu/cgi-bin/DisplayOverview/nph-DisplayOverview?objname=TRAPPIST-1+e&type=CONFIRMED_PLANET
 
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Mar 19, 2020
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While much is made of salt water oceans in the outer moons of our solar system, one needs to appreciate that the salt alone is not going to keep the water liquid at extremely low temperatures. Saturated sodium chloride only brings the freezing point of water down to ca. -30C or so.

Since Enceladus has a surface temperature of about −198 °C, it is a pretty sure bet that liquid water is not going to exist on its surface, so how could it be liquid under the surface? Heating by tidal forces seems most likely, and salt could also play a role in this liquidity, but seemingly not by very much.

To be sure, high salt would not only fail to provide the freezing point depression required for liquid water in very cold places, it also increases ion concentrations and their activity to higher levels that would be unlikely to support the origin of life. Brine, for instance, is ~ saturated salt in water, and is not a viable environment for most life on earth. Any life that does exist in brine almost certainly evolved into it, such as brine shrimp, a very rare example. It is highly probable that high concentrations of salt would be detrimental to kick-starting life, much less allowing it to evolve. More complex life forms have more demanding chemistries in order to thrive and persist.

There seems little doubt that there are many worlds with oceans both above and below the surface, and many are likely within the Goldilocks Zone (GZ). But there is much more to that GZ that is required for abiogenesis. As should be obvious, all of the parameters for the origin of life have yet to be determined, but extremes should be ruled out for initial conditions.

Again, life existing in extreme conditions likely evolved into those conditions. The earliest life forms would almost certainly have required milder environments in which to arise. And even if you have liquid water at low temperatures, the organic reactions required for abiogenesis would be unlikely to have the activation energy to produce those larger, more complex chemical forms required for life.

Not too hot, and not too cold. And not too many salts, please, and it might be just right!
 
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rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Interesting. We have an exoplanet study report here modeling exoplanets from 0.6 earth masses to 8 earth masses and little is factually known about them. There are many exoplanets documented that are in the wrong place, e.g. https://phys.org/news/2020-06-young-giant-planet-clues-formation.html. There are other exoplanets reported near 0.95 earth radii, but in the wrong place too, http://exoplanet.eu/catalog/epic_249631677_b/ with potential surface temperature 460 K. In various exoplanet reports and the scanty properties actually confirmed about them today, various extrapolations for life arising on them appear out of thin air :)
 
Jun 22, 2020
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Keep in mind everyone that there is life living among the asteroids. Now where did that life take hold from ? I am theorizing that the astroid was once part of a world with the right ingredients for life to take hold and what those were we cannot be certain because we only know our example for life. Who is to say there are not other kinds of life out there where high salt oceans and -60c (surface) and tidal forces to keep the water liquid could not produce life. The ideas and possibilities give me much excitement thinking about it.
 
Feb 21, 2020
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Far-off alien planets covered in vast oceans might be common in our Milky Way galaxy, scientists find.

Our Milky Way galaxy may be teeming with ocean worlds : Read more
Scientists get more desperate to report alien life every day. IT IS A DEMONSTRATION OF HOW DISHONEST they are. Life exists on Earth NOT just because there is water but because it resolves over 150 Lottery like odds being won at the same time. Earth needs a Sun of the right size and Stability to be at the right distance with the right orbits and 150 supercritical issues with LIFE BEING POSSIBLE. To call yourself a scientist and suggest life because you believe water, liquid water is on a planet is what you would expect from someone who is <<Offensive language removed by moderator>>.
 
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Mar 19, 2020
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Scientists get more desperate to report alien life every day. IT IS A DEMONSTRATION OF HOW DISHONEST they are.
The odds of winning 150 lotteries as a measure of life arising anywhere in the universe means that we do not exist. Or only by the most extraordinarily unlikely chance that life on earth is a one-off event, a highly unlikely probability in itself. But nowhere remotely close to the nearly infinite odds of winning all those lottos! Jeez....

Surely no one really knows what the odds are. How could they? But if anyone is going to calculate the odds, it is likely scientists. After all, they give the world all those experimental results which yields technology that actually works, providing them a very high degree of credibility. Most people would agree that this eliminates any notions that scientists are dishonest, although there are the occasional crackpots, like most endeavors in human activities.

Since so much of what scientists have discovered meshes in all things - biology, chemistry, physics, etc.. , it is hard to imagine they are desperate to do anything. Unless they need to publish in order to retain funding (that one is always a real pain!). But clearly they have to do something. And other life forms arising in the universe offers a reasonable subject for consideration, now that we know so much about life, and the universe. Well, at least for some of us......

But it should be admitted that the life of an Astrobiologist has to be some rough sledding at times. What are their job options? Teaching the science is about all there is, which allows some time to study those odds for life, and maybe narrow them down to winning a couple of lotteries, or even one. Some of them are likely going to publish articles on such things, and the current concepts involved. It is what they do.

To be sure, the conditions for abiogenesis are pretty exacting, but the odds of finding such places is certainly much greater than some have suggested. With trillions of galaxies and their countless star systems, and over 10 billion years of time for life to arise, the odds are actually very high that it happened in more than just one place.

And very likely many times, in oceans of places!
 
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Feb 18, 2020
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While I agree with you, I think the problem is that science is mostly theory and few facts. If editorial waited for just confirmed facts before publishing anything, we'd have maybe one or two stories per year and that doesn't bring in a lot of visitors.

-Wolf sends
" science is mostly theory and few facts."

Science is about correlating the facts we have and seeking new facts which may be derived from them or found by experiment.

If there are no facts e.g., regarding extraterrestrial life then science cannot pursue "facts" which do not exist.
 
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Keep in mind everyone that there is life living among the asteroids. Now where did that life take hold from ? I am theorizing that the astroid was once part of a world with the right ingredients for life to take hold and what those were we cannot be certain because we only know our example for life. Who is to say there are not other kinds of life out there where high salt oceans and -60c (surface) and tidal forces to keep the water liquid could not produce life. The ideas and possibilities give me much excitement thinking about it.
Who is to say that there are not sky blue pink piggies flying by your window, but you will not see them unless you keep a very vigilant watch.

Best stop theorizing and start watching!
 
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Scientists get more desperate to report alien life every day. IT IS A DEMONSTRATION OF HOW DISHONEST they are. Life exists on Earth NOT just because there is water but because it resolves over 150 Lottery like odds being won at the same time. Earth needs a Sun of the right size and Stability to be at the right distance with the right orbits and 150 supercritical issues with LIFE BEING POSSIBLE. To call yourself a scientist and suggest life because you believe water, liquid water is on a planet is what you would expect from someone who is <<Offensive language removed by moderator>>.
"Scientists get more desperate to report alien life every day. IT IS A DEMONSTRATION OF HOW DISHONEST they are."

Can you see why this has been banned?

The ones desperate to find non-existant occurrences are not the scientists. Scientists are busy enough dealing with facts to go chasing silly stories. Real occurrences - Yes! Impure imagination and flying pigs - No.
 
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rod

Oct 22, 2019
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FYI, we have a new report now for calculating advanced alien life out in the Milky Way, at least 36 advanced civilizations (reported on space.com too). It appears that the Astrobiological Copernican Principle can be used to define this using the assumption that an earth-like planet will have successful abiogenesis take place and eventually lead to an advanced civilization in perhaps 4.5 billion years. https://phys.org/news/2020-06-alien-civilizations-milky.html and the calculator, https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/alien-civilization

The article title in this space.com thread is 'Our Milky Way galaxy may be teeming with ocean worlds'. I think the Astrobiological Copernican Principle needs studies like ocean worlds all over the place to work :) Verifying that such exoplanets are abundant or scattered all around in the Milky Way is difficult, and even more difficult to show an advanced civilization living on such an exoplanet, perhaps like the aliens in the movie, Abyss :)
 
May 13, 2020
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Is there "intelligent" life in the cosmos? The universe is probably teaming with "intelligent" life. Before we launched a man on the moon, were we not "intelligent"? Before we migrated out of the savannas of Africa some six million years ago, were we not intelligent? When the psychologists of Princeton, Harvard and Yale as the rhetorical question, "are non-white people intelligent"; we were already intelligent. Are we looking for those who have gained the ability to traverse the realm of time and space, or are we looking for those who are just intelligent. Like the difference between who were in the Spanish Inquisition and those who suffered under the hand of the Inquisitor. "The world is flat and we are the center of the universe." We cherish the thought of "First Contact", like native people dreaming of first contact with the outside world that would bring disease and pestilence to their land. First contact with Aliens would bring a host of problems that humanity would not survive from. Think of invasive species. In the War of the Worlds the Martians died due to micro-organisms here on Earth, but in truth we would die because we have no defenses against their "common cold". We need to experience what they have for the past one thousand years. One thousand years seems a long time, but where were we one thousand years ago? Where will we be one thousand years from now? That would be in the year 3000. We can dream about space, but being determines consciousness. Maybe after 500 years where anyone can travel freely in space, like going from New York to Johannesburg; then we may have first contact.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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"Is there "intelligent" life in the cosmos? The universe is probably teaming with "intelligent" life". I will wait for verified confirmation. This exoplanet site shows 4276 confirmed now, http://exoplanet.eu/, and, 4171 at this exoplanet site, https://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu/index.html

None are verified and confirmed as containing life on them or intelligent life living on them. Earth has life verified living on it and a verified fossil record too showing a past history of life on the Earth. No other planet in our solar system or presently in exoplanet studies is confirmed showing this evidence.
 
Mar 19, 2020
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First contact with Aliens would bring a host of problems that humanity would not survive from. Think of invasive species. In the War of the Worlds the Martians died due to micro-organisms here on Earth, but in truth we would die because we have no defenses against their "common cold".
There is no reason to believe that cosmic visitors would have a compatible biochemistry that would cause us concern for alien "common colds". Although certainly carbon-based, their chemical organization leading to compatible life forms with those on earth is a stretch. If that were the case, we would also have to wonder if any interbreeding could occur, which is just as unlikely, although it might produce some unique creatures if it were possible!

It seems much more likely that they would not match our biochemistry in order to transmit infectious agents. But even if it were possible, like "demonstrated" in the fictional War of the Worlds, perhaps it is the aliens who have more to worry about. We have a lot of pathogens on "spaceship earth". Unless they are packing an enormous number of pathogens that are infective to life on earth, we shouldn't have to worry about it.

So while it cannot be ruled out, it seems highly unlikely. Look at all the life forms on earth. All of the plants and animals have viruses and bacterial pathogens, but the vast majority of these do not cross over to many other species because they are not biologically compatible with most other life forms, even though they are all earthlings (or so we think they are). This incompatibility issue would be even more likely for visitors which evolved on another world, with chemistry sufficiently different enough to make them incompatible. Perhaps if you have enough alien visitors, you will get a match.

Sort of like winning the lottery. But, we have been there on this thread, and we are done with that.........we hope!
 
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May 13, 2020
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There is vast ocean of knowledge of what we know and what we don't know. You can speculate till the cows come home, but as far as alien life forms we don't know nada. I can speculate all I want, but it is all speculation and that does add up to a hill of beans. I have pennies in my pocket that is burning and I need to give my two cents. Have we examined alien DNA, apart from the Little Old Granny from Alpha Centauri. You seem wise beyond your lightyears. Tell me wise sage what aliens are really like. Little green men and women? Huge multi-legged insect like aliens who resemble cockroaches? Enlighten me. Since you seems to know so much.
 
Mar 19, 2020
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If you have seen a lot of sci-fi movies, kristianna276, you might get an idea from one of the thousands of aliens they have conjured up.

But your questions are very good ones. Of course no one really knows what an alien capable of interstellar flight would look like. But one can guess that a fairly large brain would be on the top of most lists. Also, appendages that allow the alien to make complex objects like computers and starships. Beyond that, it is hard to imagine. Self-mobility would be a big plus, but not required if they are really advanced. Assuming they are not aquatic, internal lungs, otherwise gills would likely be required. Aspects of morphology are infinite. Choose the one you like most, it doesn't matter as long as it is rational. A worm with nothing but a big brain is probably low on the list.

But I am happy that you brought DNA into the story line. It certainly does seem as though the central dogma of molecular biology as described by Crick would likely be in their biochemistry, as it is in ours. But there are so many variables beyond that. Stereochemistry is one of the biggest problems that one should consider for compatibility. An alien employing an alternate stereochemistry in either DNA, RNA, or protein would not be a match for life on earth. And that is just in central dogma. Stereochemistry is a major aspect of all earth's life forms, as it would be in aliens. Getting a perfect match would not be so easy in all this complexity.

And of course there are the complex enzymes that are involved in central dogma, mainly DNA polymerase, RNA polymerase, and the translational mechanism of the ribosome reading mRNA and constructing proteins. It is nearly impossible to imagine an alien having all the same chemistry at this level to be compatible. There are many other examples just within central dogma. Nuclear membranes and the histones that complex with DNA to make chromosomes, etc. etc. And we haven't even started with all the proteins and polynulceotides involved in gene expression, with super-precise binding/debinding to earthling DNA, often controlled by hormones that are an entirely different realm of biochemistry, also requiring compatibilty.

Membranes are very complex aspects of life, and certainly would be for aliens. They transport metabolites, ions, and waste products, etc. , and are involved in a vast number of cellular interactions. Having any one of these off-base from an alien could be a killer for any infectivity.

Energy generating systems are also critical. Since we rely on ATP as the "universal energy molecule", how would that play out with an alien that evolved using GTP as its energy molecule? It would not. These are just a few examples out of many more. We haven't even started on carbohydrates, and all the inorganic elements involved.

Your notions that they represent a bio-threat if they come here is not absurd. But I believe many would find a tight biochemical compatibility to allow those life forms to dove-tail with all those earthling species to be rather unlikely, but certainly not impossible.
 
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May 13, 2020
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Space is a enormous arena of scientific discovery and enlightenment, and we are just babes in the woods. We will one day grow out of our newbie downy feathers and grow wings that will lift us into higher realms. We have a lot of potential, but potential is only good if fulfilled. If life exists outside of our solar system, we will meet them when the time is ripe for us to do so. Whether aliens are here or not, there is a lot of space; and we have a lot to learn.
 
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Anyone interested in a good overview of the potential biochemistry of alien life forms and their relationship to life on earth might wish to read the link below titled :

"Chance and Necessity in Biochemistry: Implications for the Search for Extraterrestrial Biomarkers in Earth-like Environments"

(published: Astrobiology. 2014 Jun 1; 14(6): 534–540.)

and found at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4060776/
 
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Jan 25, 2020
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You still telling me the obvious, micro organisms similar or the same as the ones that started out of vapor here in earth... correct me if iam wrong. Would take a lot of time for them to become Aliens.
I guess will have to wait and see from voyager... the one who enters deep space images?
 

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