Alien life could feed on cosmic rays _ science _ aaas

A bizarre microbe found deep in a gold mine in South Africa could provide a model for how life might survive in seemingly uninhabitable environments through the cosmos. Gas near me prices Known as Desulforudis audaxviator, the rod-shaped bacterium thrives 2.8 kilometers underground in a habitat devoid of the things that power the vast majority of life on Earth—light, oxygen, and carbon. Electricity pictures Instead, this “gold mine bug” gets energy from radioactive uranium in the depths of the mine. Gas works park Now, scientists predict that life elsewhere in the universe might also feed off of radiation, especially radiation raining down from space.

“It really grabbed my attention because it’s completely powered by radioactive substances,” says Dimitra Atri, an astrobiologist and computational physicist who works for the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, Washington. Grade 6 electricity unit ontario “Who’s to say life on other worlds doesn’t do the same thing?”

Essentially all life on Earth’s surface takes in the energy it needs through one of two processes. Q mart gas station Plants, some bacteria, and certain other organisms collect energy from sunlight through a process called photosynthesis. Gas in spanish In it, they use the energy from light to convert water and carbon dioxide into more complex and energetic molecules called hydrocarbons, thus storing the energy so that it can be recovered later by breaking down the molecules through a process called oxidation. Q card gas station Alternatively, animals and other organisms simply feed off of plants, one another, etc., to steal the energy already stored in living things.

D. Gas under 3 dollars audaxviator takes a third path: It draws its energy from the radioactivity of uranium in the rock in the mine. I have electricity in my body The radiation from decaying uranium nuclei breaks apart sulfur and water molecules in the stone, producing molecular fragments such as sulfate and hydrogen peroxide that are excited with internal energy. Electricity lesson plans 8th grade The microbe then takes in these molecules, siphons off their energy, and spits them back out. Astrid y gaston lima menu english Most of the energy produced from this process powers the bacterium’s reproduction and internal processes, but a portion of it also goes to repairing damage from the radiation.

Atri thinks an extraterrestrial life form could easily make use of a similar system. Gas lighting The radiation might not come from radioactive materials on the planet itself, but rather from galactic cosmic rays (GCRs)—high-energy particles that careen through the universe after being flung out of a supernova. Static electricity bill nye They’re everywhere, even on Earth, but our planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere shields us from most GCRs.

The surfaces of other planets like Mars are much more susceptible to cosmic rays because of their thin atmospheres and, in the case of Mars, its lack of a magnetic field. Gas x dosage for dogs Atri argues GCRs could reach the Red Planet’s surface with enough energy left to power a tiny organism. Electricity physics formulas This could also be the case on any world with a negligible atmosphere: Pluto, Earth’s moon, Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and, theoretically, countless more outside our solar system. Electricity online games He does note, though, that because GCRs don’t deliver nearly as much energy as the sun, GCR-powered life would be very small, and simple, just like D. Gas engine efficiency audaxviator.

To figure out how this might work, Atri ran simulations using existing data about GCRs to see how much energy they’d provide on some of these other worlds. Gas vs diesel truck The numbers were clear: The small, steady shower of cosmic rays would supply enough energy to power a simple organism on all of the planets he simulated except Earth, Atri reports this week in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 66 gas station near me “It can’t be ruled out that life like this could exist,” he says.

Atri thinks Mars is the best candidate to host GCR-powered life. Electricity physics test The planet’s composition is rocky like Earth’s with plenty of minerals, and it might even have some water tucked away. Gas oil ratio for leaf blower Both would offer excellent mediums to be broken down by cosmic rays and gobbled up by a life form. Electricity 1 unit how many watts The most essential part of the equation, though, is the thin atmosphere. Static electricity jokes “It’s funny,” Atri says, “because when we look for planets that contain life currently, we look for a very thick atmosphere. Gas used in ww1 With these life forms, we’re looking for the opposite.”

Duncan Forgan, an astrobiologist at the University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work, agrees that Mars might be harboring D. A shell gas station near me audaxviator-like life because its stable temperatures and physical makeup are similar to that of the South African gold mine. Gas vs electric stove top He does worry that on other planets that don’t receive light energy from a sun but still get bombarded with GCRs—such as free floating rogue planets not tied to any solar system—temperatures would dip too low and freeze life in its tracks. Electricity quiz grade 9 He also cautions that too many cosmic rays could wipe life out altogether: “Life forms like this want a steady flux of energy from cosmic rays, but not so much that it’s damaging,” he says. Electricity usage calculator south africa “They might not be able to cope with a huge bout of radiation that pops in.”

In the future, Atri wants to bring the gold mine bug into the lab and see how it responds to cosmic radiation levels equivalent to those on Mars, Europa, and others. Gas chamber That data would give him more clues to whether this kind of organism could survive beyond Earth. Up electricity bill payment online “ Desulforudis audaxviator is proof that life can thrive using almost any energy source available,” he says. Electricity and magnetism purcell pdf “I always think of Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park—life finds a way.”