Exobiology within our Solar System possibilities:


Valued Senior Member
Does life exist elsewhere within our Solar system?
While as yet we have no conclusive evidence of life existing anywhere else, including our Solar system, we do have possible havens for life, although anything beyond the most microbial and basic of life would be unlikely.

Some possible niches for life maybe the following places.....
Titan, Saturn's largest moon.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/where-solar-system-are-we-most-likely-find-life-180949994/#:~:text=In terms of life, Titan,amounts of methane and oxygen.
In terms of life, Titan—the largest moon of Saturn—has one thing going for it that none of the other destinations do: a thick, chemically active atmosphere. The moon's atmosphere is denser than Earth's, and the upper levels are mostly composed of nitrogen, with small amounts of methane and oxygen. This is encouraging, as life (at least on Earth) requires an atmosphere for protection from radiation and for the circulation of organic compounds.

Europa, a moon of Jupiter, is an ice covered world where life could possibly emerge...It would likely be beneath the icy crust, due to the extremes of radiation from Jupiter, but it does likely have sub-surface water and chemical activity.
This is another smaller moon of Saturn, but has been observed to have powerful long plumes of water vapour erupting from the surface, as detected by the Cassini craft, along with many other more complex organics.

Water has also been found on Ganymede the largest Jovian moon, and the largest in the solar system, as well as Callisto, Jupiter's other large moon.

So what are the chances that some basic life has arisen elsewhere in our solar system? and when will we be sure of such possibilities.
Some scientists seem to predict within the next decade or two.
Does life exist elsewhere within our Solar system?

Hark back to Apollo 11 just after they landed. What happened, they went into quarantine

I think it would be safe to say if they had NOT gone into quarantine there would have been riots blaming them for all the illnesses which happened after their return

They brought bugs back with them. So it seems most people do believe life exist outside of Earth, even if only disease making bugs

They brought bugs back with them. So it seems most people do believe life exist outside of Earth, even if only disease making bugs

Bingo! But none as yet found :)...NASA obviously was playing safe.
None of the later Apollo landings were quarantined.

But let's not upset Freddy too much by talking of non existent landings;):p
As an aside, and speaking of Apollo 11, worth the time watching a movie entitled "First Man" covering the years leading up to Apollo 11, and the obvious reasons why Neil Armstrong was chosen as Commander.

The number of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy is close to one hundred billion.
Most are far away, but other worlds that could have life are even closer. Mars and several of Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons have environments that could support biology. Beyond our solar system, there are so many planets it’s reasonable to imagine that at least some are populated by intelligent beings.

SETI Institute researchers look for both microscopic and macroscopic life using a variety of instruments and strategies: rovers, orbiters, field expeditions, and radio telescopes are just a few. Understanding where biology may gain a foothold and detecting its presence is the goal of these scientists, and they hope to establish whether life is commonplace or rare.

What does " common place" or " rare" mean in context with our galaxy? Our local group? the observable Universe?
There'll probably already be traces of Earth-originated microbial contamination on the Moon, owing to forensic evidence of both unmanned & manned missions; & probably microbial contamination on Mars as well (all unmanned missions thus far, of course).

It'd certainly be interesting to find examples of incipient chemical abiogenesis on other planetary bodies, either in our own Solar System or elsewhere.

Any hoped-for discovery of the existence of intelligent civilisations beyond Earth seems exttemely unlikely to me. Any discovery of genuine ET microbial life would be stunning enough for me.

When we talk about "basic life [forms]," one should remember that the full suite of all of the chemical reactions, conformational changes, cooperativity bonding (using weak chemical bonds), genome/proteome relationships, etc., taking place inside even a single living microbial cell under the microscope is still beyond our total grasp scientifically, as is the synthetic production in the lab of such a cell 'from scratch,' Humbling indeed.