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Study casts doubt on the chances of life on watery alien planets

Study casts doubt on the chances of life on watery alien planets
DALLOL, ETHIOPIA - JANUARY 23: A sulphur lake is pictured in the Danakil Depression on January 23, 2017 near Dallol, Ethiopia. The depression lies 100 metres below sea level and is one of the hottest and most inhospitable places on Earth. Despite the gruelling conditions, Ethiopians continue a centuries old industry of mining salt from the ground by hand in temperatures that average 34.5 degrees centigrade but have risen to over 50 degrees. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Scientists looking out for habitable planets often see the presence of water as a key sign, however they may not wish to boost their hopes too high. A recently published study has indicated that there was no clear proof of extremophiles (life which will survive extreme conditions) in Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression, home to a number of the world’s most acidic, saltiest and superheated water. In alternative words, the mere existence of water is not enough — the conditions have to be compelled to be a minimum of slightly contributory to life. consequently, water that was ‘just’ terribly salty enclosed various sorts of extremophiles, together with many fresh discovered examples.

The most hostile surroundings even enclosed counterfeit proof within the sort of biomorphs, or nano-sized oxide grains that tally tiny cells. there is a concern that rovers landing on distant worlds may unwittingly fool researchers into basic cognitive process the grains square measure proof of life.

This doesn’t mean exobiologists ought to quit their search for life on the far side Earth. Instead, the study team suggests that scientists ought to pursue “cautionary interpretations” once they notice potential clues. they’re going to wish to ascertain conditions before they reach any conclusions. Of course, this conjointly assumes that any alien life is carbon-based am passionate about it is on Earth — it’s potential that alien lifeforms may thrive in conditions that may kill something from our home planet.

Source: Nature


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