April 10, 2018 J: Jupiter and Panspermia

September 10, 2018 J: Jupiter and Panspermia (Where did all our chromosomes come from?) 

One of the factors of the Drake Equation that can suggest how ubiquitous life is in our universe is the chance of a solar system including Earth-like planets. We see that M class stars that are smaller and generate less energy than our G class sun can (like Trappist I) have a whole system consisting of all Earth-sized planets.

Our expanding droplet experiment predicts through its self-organizing structure what might happen in the formation of planets in the accretion disk around the sun (as we said, it also predicts the formation of such equal-sized planets). But is the size of a planet all that is needed in producing life? (We will discuss today the idea of a gas giant like Jupiter being a major player in delivering genetic material to the Earth (panspermia) and whether or not phosphorus is important in the evolution of life,)

But now that we are considering panspermia (that organic material including nucleotides that formed the genetic material residing in the nuclei of most living cells may have formed outside the Earth) we need to know, if the types of planets, and their position, in our solar system is a popular distribution around stars in our galaxy.

According to our expanding droplet, low energy expansions might create equally spaced smaller planets farther out. But larger expansionary flows produce troughs/masses of high curvature closer to their source/sun (the greater the curvature of a relational boundary the greater the forces preventing physical interaction or information flow across that boundary).

A big mystery is how these large planets (maybe failed stars) formed close to their star but then, as in our solar system, seemed to drift outward (to where they are today). Why are we concerned with where Jupiter-sized planets formed? Because from studies to identify planets around stars in our vicinity, we find that the really large planets close to their stars can occlude light from those stars, and, so, their orbital frequency (and distance from their stars) can be found. Most Jupiters were found close to their stars, as opposed to our system where Jupiter-sized planets are found far from their stars. This link will take you to what we know so far (2016) in the distribution of Jupiter-sized planets discovered so far orbiting in the solar systems of other stars.  This study has found that only one in 2000 stars have Jupiters, but 15% of sun-like stars (G type) have Jupiters. Like our experiment, that suggests that larger more energetic stars will have more Jupiter-like planets. 

In the above link (Exactly How Unusual Is Our Solar System) we see a graph of the different star types. Notice that our star is barely able to live long enough to allow life to evolve (It took almost half our sun’s life to produce humans). Why is that? The bigger the star, the more energy; the more energy the faster it burns out (That is true everywhere. You will be able to travel for a shorter amount of time burning more gas/energy then if you traveled at a slower rate).

So, we know that only G-type stars can have both Jupiters (that may produce genetic material) and live long enough, so life can evolve on any of its planets. 

But, where Jupiter orbits is important as well. We see from the aforementioned link that Jupiter must be outside the orbit of a planet in the Goldilocks zone of liquid water. Why might Jupiters form close to their stars but, then, can be found farther out? A link to THE GREAT MIGRATION tells us how Jupiter might migrate to its present position in our solar system (most of the computer models show a three-dimensional orbital pattern in with the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn interact to drive each other farther away). By our model of an expanding droplet in two-dimensions, we cannot speculate what happens after the self-ordering into planets. But what we can suggest is that the greater the curvature (usually forming close to the source/sun) the easier an outward energy/fluid can take the path of least resistance to flow around the massive-planet/high-curvature-trough (thus, the inertial field around the mass keeps it from moving outward). So what can be the mechanism to drive the larger massive planets outward?

When our droplet goes unstable it first initiates tightly curved troughs close to the source/sun, perhaps analogous to gas giants. Studies have suggested that the next thing to occur to the gas giants is to make these massive planets even more gaseous. That is because the large planets are so heated that the density of their materials is reduced and that changed the curvature of their boundaries (as the analogous interfacial tension would be reduced by an increase in diffusion). So gravitational tension may be reduced and the outward energy flow would be able to push these larger masses farther than it could push them, if the object were much more condensed.

A larger Jupiter-like planet or possibly failed star can then manufacture the elements required to produce genetic material that can rain down on potential inner planets to seed droplets, so they can become the first cells. (We have discussed on this site that our experiments show that when the water-based fluid inside a droplet is surrounded by oil-based fluids (as are many living cells), the cells will divide perfectly in half (unstable offset mode). This type of primitive mitosis is important so that homogeneous genetic material can be reliably transferred from mother to daughter cells.

So now we might know something about how life arose from a fluid mechanics point of view. But what if all the elements of life are not available everywhere in our universe? In biology we learned the atoms important to life by learning the phrase: Chopkins Might Good Cafe (CHOPKINS Mg CaFe). Taking just the letters in CHOPKINS, we see that they all represent elemental atoms that must be present in living cells for our brand of life here on Earth. Recently, it has been phosphorus (P) that has become a problem. All larger (heavier) atoms (like phosphorus) are born in supernovas (when very large stars explode). So far, very small quantities of phosphorus have been found in these explosions.

Options for alien life arising in other solar systems when phosphorus is scarce involve what happens as Jupiter-produced nucleic acids decelerate from Jupiter to other inner planets before they get to Earth. The idea is phosphorus gets more concentrated somewhere along this route. 

Another option in light of the scarcity of phosphorus, is that another elemental atom that is similar (has the same number of valence electrons and therefore can bond with the same elements as phosphorus) like arsenic. Arsenic is even found to take the place of phosphorus in living cells.

Because my experiment shows that so much of what happens in forming a solar system is ubiquitous in normal space-time, I tend to believe that G type stars with Jupiter-sized planets as they age, first the Jupiters move outward, then they rain down nucleic acids on their moons and the inner planets where water can exist as a liquid. Droplets “learn” (as unstable expanding droplets appear to learn from their primitive experiences) how to control their reproduction and life continues to evolve. 



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