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Aging rates on other planets

  1. Oct 2, 2014 #1
    To keep track lets take a trip to 'Imagination Land' (no not the south park version!). Now imagine that the 8 planets and pluto in the solar system are places where humans can live, would the age rate differ from planet to planet? Now lets get back to reality. We may be able to send humans to mars so would be interesting to see if 'Martian Humans' Live longer than 'Earthling Humans', but to be honest I dont have a couple of centuries to live to see how the age rate over generations evolve on Mars. BUT isn't it possible to send micro living organisms to other planets, in a safe container which MUST not contaminate the planet it visits, and study the age rate of cells and compare... this could be done surely?
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  3. Oct 2, 2014 #2

    Ken G

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    If the cells are sealed from the Martian environment, to prevent contamination, then we would not really be testing the aging rate on Mars. We might be getting some aspects, like the rate of bombardment by cosmic rays that could contribute to aging, but not the whole enchilada. Still, that could give a partial answer to your question-- I would imagine any planet with a much weaker magnetic field than Earth and a much thinner atmosphere than Earth would be more susceptible to bombardment by DNA-damaging particles from space. Also, any planet with no ozone layer that is not too far from the Sun will experience more harmful UV light from the Sun. These kinds of damaging environments could certainly lead to a process we might associate with aging, I should think.
  4. Oct 2, 2014 #3


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    Sure. To add to Ken G's points regarding the dangers of incoming radiation, let's extend an assumption that either a friendly atmosphere or suits and living environment could protect 100% from radiation as we enjoy on Earth. The human body will also be subject to different gravitation - the greatest found at Jupiter - NASA lists its surface gravity at about 2.5 times that of Earth. That should lessen one's lifetime.

    Planets who's gravity is much less than Earth's (Pluto < 10% and Mercury near 40%) present a different problem in that the human body is currently designed to thrive with Earth's gravity with reasonable exercise. (Think atrophy from decreased exertion of muscles. Astronauts who are away from the Earth's gravity can develop decreased muscle tone after just a few days of weightlessness.
  5. Oct 2, 2014 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    In other words: "aging" is not a well defined term ... you are thinking only of the "rate time passes" contribution to aging.
    Rather than study this rate using living organisms, which presents a number of problems, why not study the age rate with other kinds of clocks?
  6. Oct 4, 2014 #5


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