PHY 580 - ASTROBIOLOGY FOR TEACHERS


ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS FROM THE READING


Chapter #13 Exobiology in the Jupiter System.

 

1. In what ways is the Jupiter system similar to a solar system? How is it different? (page 208)

2. What is the source of heat given off by Jupiter? (page 208)

3. Where does the additional heat source of Io and Europa (and to a lesser degree, Castillo and Ganymede) come from? (page 208)

4. How does the density and size of Io compare to that of the Moon? How is the overall composition of Io thought to compare to the Moon? (page 208, 209 &endash; 210)

5. Is Io thought to have water on the surface as a solid? As a liquid? In the atmosphere? What does this suggest about the possibility for life on Io? (page 210)

6. How does the density and size of Europa compare to that of the Moon? Describe the composition of Europa. (page 210)

7. Is Europa thought to contain water on the surface as a liquid or a solid? Why? (page 210, 217)

8. How does the density and size of Castillo compare to that of the Moon? Based on the density measured for Castillo is water thought to be present in any form? (page 210)

9. How does the density and size of Ganymede compare to that of the Moon? Based on the density measured for Ganymede is water thought to be present in any form? (page 210)

10. Describe in detail how the tidal heating process of Io works. What geological features are seen on the surface of Io that result from tidal heating? (page 211)

11. What material is responsible for producing the wide variety of colors seen on the surface of Io? Where does this material come from? (page 214)

12. According to Jakosky is it very likely that life exists on Io? Explain. (page 216)

13. What are the main environmental characteristics that would make life on Io difficult? (page 216)

14. What gives the surface of Europa its "cracked" appearance?

15. Describe the possible mechanisms that are thought to cause these cracked surface features on Europa. (page 217-218)

16. Describe the heat and temperature estimates that must be made if one is trying to determine if there is liquid water under a surface layer of ice on Europa. (Page 218 &endash; 220)

17. If liquid water is indeed present below the surface of Europa does it appear that the other necessary conditions are present to drive biological activity? (page 222 &endash; 223)

18. Would life be possible at the inner surface of Jupiter? Explain. (page 224)

19. If Jupiter is to harbor life were would it be present? Explain. (page 224)

20. Does Jupiter (and if so where) contain the biogenic elements that are required for terrestrial life? (page 224)

21. Jupiter's atmosphere is not in chemical equilibrium. If the atmosphere were in chemical equilibrium, in what forms would we find carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen? (page 224 &endash; 225)

22. What processes are thought to push Jupiter's atmosphere out of chemical equilibrium. Ho might these processes contribute to the probability of finding life in the atmosphere of Jupiter? (page 225)

23. What is the biggest problem with the idea of living organisms existing in the atmosphere of Jupiter? (page 225)

24. The three general requirements for terrestrial life (liquid water, a usable energy source, and access to the right biogenic elements) are found in different combinations on many planets and moons in the solar system. For each of the following planets or moons state which of the three general requirements is met.

  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Europa
  • Io
  • Titan 


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