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Could life exist on a star?

  1. Aug 27, 2010 #1
    Extraterrestrial life usually implies planetary biota. What about that on stars like brown dwarfs?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2010 #2

    Borek

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    Chemistry that we know as needed for life won't work in temperatures involved on brown dwarf surfaces. Anything else is just a speculation.
     
  4. Aug 27, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    This reminds me of the old joke about a planned mission to the sun. How can you land on the sun? You go at night.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2010 #4

    Borek

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    There was a SF short story built around the idea that there stars are inhabited creatures made of plasma, and ball lightnings are just the simplest versions of these creatures.

    Not sure if it was written in Polish, or translated to Polish, I think I have read it about 30 years ago.
     
  6. Aug 27, 2010 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    In practical terms, it is a "what is life" question. The deeper and completely speculative abyss is the question of the requirements for intelligence. Could non-biological systems produce the conditions necessary for awareness to emerge [or however you want to define life in that sense]? The short answer: We have no idea. No such thing has ever been observed - a philosophical discussion at best.
     
  7. Aug 27, 2010 #6

    Office_Shredder

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    Yes, awareness. For example, trees are aware. Sort of.

    There's no single criterion for what is considered 'alive' just for things on earth, so trying to decide whether ball lightning is alive would probably be impossible unless it tells us it is
     
  8. Aug 27, 2010 #7
    I wouldn't say that the stars themselves are alive. However, they do reproduce.
     
  9. Aug 27, 2010 #8

    mheslep

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    Right, electronic chemistry is out. So is there any sense in which plasmas could be said to self organize? Plasmas certainly do things that seem cohesive to the eye, if briefly so. One advantage of chemical life on earth over theoretical solar 'life' is that the former is constantly consumed with a search for an energy source. That's not a problem on a star.
     
  10. Aug 27, 2010 #9

    Danger

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    I've seen that concept presented a few times, including the character "Trance Gemini" on the "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda" TV series. If one of the ones that I saw originated in Poland, it would have to have been written by Stanislaw Lem. He's the only Polish writer whose material I have read.
    Dr. Robert Forward wrote a really cool novel entitled "Dragon's Egg" that details a complete technological civilization evolving on the surface of a neutron star. There is also a sequel called "Starquake". They're really quite brain-stimulating as well as highly entertaining.
     
  11. Aug 28, 2010 #10

    Astronuc

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    Adding to Borek's comment - "Gliese 229B is a brown dwarf orbiting the star; although it is too small to sustain hydrogen-burning nuclear fusion, with a mass of 20 to 50 times that of Jupiter it is still too massive to be a planet. Gliese 229B was the first confirmed substellar mass object. This object has a surface temperature of 950 K."
    Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gliese_229B

    and http://www.aanda.org/index.php?option=com_article&access=doi&doi=10.1051/0004-6361:20078229&Itemid=129" [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  12. Aug 28, 2010 #11

    Borg

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    I read both of them a long time ago. They were quite good.
     
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