18 July 2020

Water in the solar system

I seem to remember as a child having a (?common) presumption that what made Earth unique as a planetary body was the presence of water.  How utterly wrong I was.

Earth has less water than Pluto and five planetary moons.  Ganymede has 40X as much water as earth.

Info credit Steve Vance/NASA/JPL, via BoingBoing.


  1. I believe we are unique not because we have water, but because all three states of water (vapor in clouds & volcanic steam, liquid water in lakes and oceans and so on, and solid water in the form of ice) exist and can exist at the same time in the same place.

    1. But wouldn't the ice volcanoes fulfill those criteria?

      "A cryovolcano (sometimes informally called an ice volcano) is a type of volcano that erupts volatiles such as water, ammonia or methane, instead of molten rock. Collectively referred to as cryomagma, cryolava or ice-volcanic melt, these substances are usually liquids and can form plumes, but can also be in vapour form. After eruption, cryomagma is expected to condense to a solid form when exposed to the very low surrounding temperature. Cryovolcanoes may potentially form on icy moons and other objects with abundant water past the Solar System's snow line (such as Pluto. A number of features have been identified as possible cryovolcanoes on Pluto, Titan and Ceres. In addition, although they are not known to form volcanoes, ice geysers have been observed on Enceladus and potentially Triton."

  2. Earth is the only confirmed place humans can live. We search and search for a "goldilocks planet" to relocate OURSELVES, because we are self centered. However, other life forms (even from Earth) may find safe habitation elsewhere (like this article looking at theoretical hydrogen atmospheres :abcnews.go.com/amp/Technology/microbes-survive-planets-hydrogen-atmospheres/story%3fid=70581628 )


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