Reply to post: Re: Search... find.

NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

Nigel 11

Re: Search... find.

A water world is another interesting possibility. Liquid H2O in far greater abundance than Earth, 200km or so deep i.e. down to the point where the pressure causes it to crystallize into a denser-than-liquid high-pressure phase of ice. Earth's ~2km of water would be stripped by the solar wind in about 100My without our geomagnetic field. A water world might well last until its sun boiled it, even if losing water to space at 2km per 100My.

Radiation may be a problem only for life that evolved on this planet with good radiation protection in place. Protection against a non-existent threat doesn't evolve. Even here, blue-green algae will thrive in the cooling jacket of a laser discharge tube (intense UV) and live off the Cherenkov glow inside a nuclear reactor (huge neutron flux and lots of other nasties). It's probable that they are descended directly from the first life on the panet, which evolved before we had an oxygen atmosphere or an ozone layer, and so needed good radiation tolerance.

One datum allows no conclusions to be drawn about the population it is taken from. Maybe we are alone. Maybe as many as one in twenty stars carries life on one of its planets. The evidence so far can rule out neither, nor anything between.

Oh, and what do we know of the possibilities for life in the various phases of degenerate nuclear matter on the surface of a neutron star with a strong magnetic field? NOTHING!. Apart from the obvious facts that we'd never get to shake hands or share biospheres, and that given the relative speed of nuclear chemistry compared to the everyday sort, one of our months might be long enough for the complete rise and fall of a civilisation.

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