One of the most picturesque planets in the solar system- Jupiter, has long attracted space explorers as a place of unique natural processes, although it is not considered seriously as a potential place for the origin of life. Despite this, back in 1970, the famous American astronomer Carl Sagan expressed a very extravagant version of his time about the existence of life in the clouds of this planet.
Who can live on Jupiter?
Although Jupiter is missing any solidthe surface, or even just its semblance, on a giant planet there may exist exotic life forms that are not on Earth. Among these hypothetical life forms, Karl Sagan identified several rather unusual creatures: floaters, sinkers and hunters. So, floaters can be truly gigantic organisms reaching kilometer sizes! They can be in the form of balloons, which would allow you to freely stay in the atmosphere and generate energy through the use of organic molecules.
Sinkers can be like ordinary Earthmicroorganisms, with the only difference being that for their survival these creatures will have to avoid the hot convection currents of Jupiter. In addition, sincers must be capable of mass reproduction, which would help them survive in extremely adverse conditions in the atmosphere of a giant planet.
As you know, in any ecosystem there is a place fordifferent types of predators that would regulate the number of herbivores. In the event that sincers and floaters really feed on any organic matter, hunters will have to regulate the number of such organisms (from the English. Hunter - hunter).
Also, even if Karl Sagan’s theory of lifeon Jupiter is insolvent, do not exclude its presence in similar forms on other planets. Wanting to prove the theory of an American scientist, researchers from the Institute of Biophysics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences developed a special theory about the autocatalytic method of the origin of life on Earth.
According to this theory, the creators of the firstmicroorganisms that gave rise to life on Earth in the forms that we know, became some kind of autocatalytic system, which complicated themselves as a result of natural selection. In other words, still inanimate matter, while capable of self-complication, could act as an autocatalyst. The likelihood of the appearance of such semi-organisms somewhere on Jupiter is rather small, but quite real.
Some terrestrial bacteria can survive in the atmosphere of Jupiter
One of the biggest challenges to getting startedlife in the atmosphere of a giant planet can be an almost complete absence of oxygen and a huge amount of ammonia. In order to find out if terrestrial bacteria can survive in the extremely harsh atmosphere of Jupiter, a group of California scientists set up an experiment by placing terrestrial extremophile bacteria in airless conditions close to those of Jupiter.
See also: How could life on Earth have changed if our planet became a satellite of Jupiter?
As a result of the experiment, it turned out thatsome microorganisms are really able to survive and multiply in an atmosphere with a high content of ammonia, hydrogen and helium, which greatly increases our chances of finding any life, even the simplest, in the atmospheres of the giant planets of the solar system.
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