What makes a planet unable to sustain life?

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Neil

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What makes a planet unable to sustain life?
« on: 05/07/2008 13:11:11 »
Neil asked the Naked Scientists:

Hi,

I was looking in your forums and saw a discussion on UFOs, over life in the universe etc.

It got me thinking. Why do you often hear 'experts' saying that a planet is unable to sustain life? What are they basing that on?

Are they saying that all life forms must be carbon based and assuming that, for instance, gaseous life forms simply couldn't exist somewhere?

Thanks

Neil

What do you think?

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Offline LeeE

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What makes a planet unable to sustain life?
« Reply #1 on: 05/07/2008 15:12:30 »
I think it can only be assumed on the basis of "not as we know it (Jim) and there has been a lot of speculation about lifeforms based upon other elemants.  Gaseous lifeforms have been hypothesed quite plausibly in a couple of Sci-fi novels, one of the best being in Iain M. Banks 'The Algebraist'
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline RD

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What makes a planet unable to sustain life?
« Reply #2 on: 05/07/2008 15:53:47 »
The presence liquid water seems essential for life,
so areas of the universe too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist are considered uninhabitable.
« Last Edit: 05/07/2008 15:58:53 by RD »

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Offline syhprum

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What makes a planet unable to sustain life?
« Reply #3 on: 05/07/2008 17:25:48 »
So why are they wasting time and money searching on Mars?.
syhprum

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Offline RD

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What makes a planet unable to sustain life?
« Reply #4 on: 05/07/2008 23:44:58 »
So why are they wasting time and money searching on Mars?.
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/why.html

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Offline Alan McDougall

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What makes a planet unable to sustain life?
« Reply #5 on: 06/07/2008 08:53:42 »
Silica based life is a far off possibilty. Maybe plasma based life living on the Sun?
The Truth remains the Truth regardless of our beliefs or opinions the Truth is always the Truth even if we know it or do not know it (The Truth remains the Truth)

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Offline Alan McDougall

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What makes a planet unable to sustain life?
« Reply #6 on: 07/07/2008 23:50:26 »
 Lack of Water the stuff of life
« Last Edit: 07/07/2008 23:58:46 by Alan McDougall »
The Truth remains the Truth regardless of our beliefs or opinions the Truth is always the Truth even if we know it or do not know it (The Truth remains the Truth)