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Take that GoldilocksFollow

#1 Nov 29 2012 at 3:21 PM Rating: Decent
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Water on Mercury has been confirmed, or rather water ice likely deposited by asteroids, melted and rained down on the cold side, lots of it. So here's my question.

If Mercury has polar ice due to the north pole being permanently in shadow it seems to me likely that there are zones on Mercury that would be more temperate, intermediate zones, say on the slopes of craters. Would this not add a bit of a skepticism to the ideal of goldilocks zones being the only likely places to find planets with life? I see no reason why an entire planet would have to be habitable to support life as long as the habitable zones were reasonably stable or shifted slowly enough for life to survive any turbulence.
#2 Nov 29 2012 at 3:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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Possible but unlikely, Goldilocks did it right.
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#3 Nov 29 2012 at 3:50 PM Rating: Good
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Is this the big news they've been hyping for a while?
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#4 Nov 29 2012 at 3:52 PM Rating: Good
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It's not a Goldilocks area until they find Water Bears there.
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#5 Nov 29 2012 at 4:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Yodabunny wrote:
If Mercury has polar ice due to the north pole being permanently in shadow it seems to me likely that there are zones on Mercury that would be more temperate, intermediate zones, say on the slopes of craters. Would this not add a bit of a skepticism to the ideal of goldilocks zones being the only likely places to find planets with life? I see no reason why an entire planet would have to be habitable to support life as long as the habitable zones were reasonably stable or shifted slowly enough for life to survive any turbulence.


That's the key though... is the orbital wobble of the planet stable enough to preserve those temperate zones? Even a minor shift in an environment like Mercury's could mean temperature differences of hundreds of degrees. Also... atmosphere. Mercury has none. Water is required for life as we know it, but it isn't the only thing.
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#6 Nov 29 2012 at 4:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Oh, not saying Mercury is a candidate at all. No atmosphere and all, just think this opens some doors.

No this isn't the news we are waiting for, that involves mars.
#7 Nov 29 2012 at 5:56 PM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
Also... atmosphere. Mercury has none. Water is required for life as we know it, but it isn't the only thing.


I doubt we'll find penguins and polar bears on Mercury's north pole, but there could be life forms existing in the ice, or in water pockets below the ice, if the ice melts down there. The ice "crust" could create a local biosphere where organisms could live without being exposed to the vacuum on the surface.

Also, anoxic animals exist on Earth. Why not on Mercury?
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#8 Nov 29 2012 at 6:04 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Also, anoxic animals anaerobic organisms exist on Earth. Why not on Mercury?
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#9 Nov 29 2012 at 8:15 PM Rating: Good
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Who's to say life couldn't adapt to survive 200 degree temp variations either. Burrow deep, hybernate. Leave heat treated spores and just die off every cycle. Lots of possibilities.
#10 Nov 29 2012 at 11:21 PM Rating: Good
Life outside the habitable zones of stars is most likely possible. Someone can think of plenty of scenarios in their imagination that life would be able to survive, if not flourish, in.

However, life is probably still the most likely in the habitable zones, so that means that the search for life would be most efficiently conducted there. Occam's Razor and all that jazz. I mean, should we rule out planets like Mercury that are outside the Goldilocks zone, but have potentially life-sustaining locales? Probably not, especially if there's something immediately obvious, like a perpetually in twilight pole or a large ocean below the surface or something. But for what we're going to be looking for with our technolody, I'd image it's much more likely to see life in a habitable zone before we find it outside of it.
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#11 Nov 30 2012 at 4:34 AM Rating: Good
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THINGS LIVE IN LAVA.
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#12 Nov 30 2012 at 7:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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Nilatai wrote:
THINGS LIVE IN LAVA.

In molten lava? No. Your temperature range for extreme thermophiles is up to 212F, far less than the temperature of molten stone. There's critters living near/in oceanic volcanic vents and lava tubes but neither of those conditions are lacking for carbon or liquid water which is considered to be the two primary requirements for life (as we know it, yadda yadda).
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#13 Nov 30 2012 at 8:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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Nilatai wrote:
THINGS LIVE IN LAVA.
Years of research have led me to conclude that most of these things are large, malevolent creatures. Ofentimes, they are led by a giant variant of their species, who will hurl flaming boulders and spew jets of flame at their prey, of which only the nimblest will survive.
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#14 Nov 30 2012 at 8:58 AM Rating: Good
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Thankfully we can double jump to avoid most of that.
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#15 Nov 30 2012 at 10:58 AM Rating: Good
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#16 Nov 30 2012 at 12:42 PM Rating: Good
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Spoonless wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
THINGS LIVE IN LAVA.
Years of research have led me to conclude that most of these things are large, malevolent creatures. Ofentimes, they are led by a giant variant of their species, who will hurl flaming boulders and spew jets of flame at their prey, of which only the nimblest will survive.


Thankfully they usually don't have legs, so you can just run away from them if you need to.

Edited, Nov 30th 2012 12:44pm by Bigdaddyjug
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#17 Nov 30 2012 at 2:32 PM Rating: Good
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Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Thankfully they usually don't have legs, so you can just run away from them if you need to.
Oh really?

Sorry for the music. First thing I found.
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#18 Nov 30 2012 at 5:50 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
Mazra wrote:
Also, anoxic animals anaerobic organisms exist on Earth. Why not on Mercury?


That'll teach me to translate before taking a science article for granted. You're right that they're anaerobic (the environment is anoxic), but they are animals. They discovered Loricifera at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea back in 2010.
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#19 Nov 30 2012 at 6:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
THINGS LIVE IN LAVA.

In molten lava? No. Your temperature range for extreme thermophiles is up to 212F, far less than the temperature of molten stone. There's critters living near/in oceanic volcanic vents and lava tubes but neither of those conditions are lacking for carbon or liquid water which is considered to be the two primary requirements for life (as we know it, yadda yadda).

I wasn't actually being serious, caps 'n' all that.


That being said I reckon we may have accidentally seeded life on Titan (one of Saturn's moons). That'd be a pretty cool experiment to run, actually.
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