IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Organics on Mercury
marsbug
post May 7 2009, 07:34 PM
Post #1


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 288
Joined: 5-January 07
From: Manchester England
Member No.: 1563



It's a reasonable idea that mercury has water ice in shadowed craters at it's poles, and that meteorites containing organics rain down on the planet the same as with earth. So there's probably some organics mixed in with the ice- and the ice has probably been subjected to impacts, radiation, and possibly even warming by vulcanism. So how would mercury organics compare to those found in ices on bodies in the outer solar system? Edit: A search of the web hasn't turned up much, and I wonder if organic materials would be processed differently, given that mercury is a dense rocky world near the sun, as opposed to an icy world far from it.


--------------------
- "I am a child, and I like to ask childish questions!" Albert Einstien

My Blog
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Juramike
post May 8 2009, 02:23 AM
Post #2


Senior Member
****

Group: Moderator
Posts: 2723
Joined: 10-November 06
From: Pasadena, CA
Member No.: 1345



Well....I'll take a wild guess:

Closer to the sun, there would be more irradiation of the ices causing more oxygen radicals that could run around and do things. So I'd suppose more organic materials would be in the oxidized form.

The temperature difference would also remove kinetic barriers to further reaction. So many of the feebler molecules and species that are stable in the outer solar system worlds might break down to other products. (I'm thinking of unstable polyynes - they might not last long at higher inner solar system temperatures).

Also with the warmer temperatures, more hydrolysis might also occur. Things like dicarbodimides, amidines, imines and kin might break down to the corresponding carbonyl derivatives (ureas, carboxylic acids, ketones, aldehydes). Large funky polymers might also hydrolyze out to smaller units. (I'm thinking of hydrolysis experiments with tholins that liberate amino acids)

Finally, the rocky worlds would have metals and metal salts that could mix it up with any organics and help catalyze further reactions (also via pH modification of the medium). The outer ice worlds are mostly water ice, thus metal-poor.

For either (putative) Mercury organics or outer solar system organics, the really interesting stuff would require sophisticated in situ analysis or sample return to figure out structures. (complex rings, amino acids etc.)



--------------------
Some higher resolution images available at my photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31678681@N07/
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
marsbug
post May 8 2009, 10:07 AM
Post #3


Member
***

Group: Members
Posts: 288
Joined: 5-January 07
From: Manchester England
Member No.: 1563



I thought that the temperatures in the 'craters of eternal darkness' were similar to those in the outer solar system, IE around 100 deg K? Still a comparison between (putative) mercury organics and the outer solar system bodies organic would be interesting, particularly the effect of abundant metals nearby and higher radiation. A phoenix type lander to one of the poles would be fascinating, but mercury seems as difficult to get to as the outer planets in terms of the energy needed. I hope it's done one day though, mercury is turning out to be a lot more interesting than the baked out rock I was told about in school!


--------------------
- "I am a child, and I like to ask childish questions!" Albert Einstien

My Blog
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 19th December 2014 - 01:40 PM
RULES AND GUIDELINES
Please read the Forum Rules and Guidelines before posting.

IMAGE COPYRIGHT
Images posted on UnmannedSpaceflight.com may be copyrighted. Do not reproduce without permission. Read here for further information on space images and copyright.

OPINIONS AND MODERATION
Opinions expressed on UnmannedSpaceflight.com are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of UnmannedSpaceflight.com or The Planetary Society. The all-volunteer UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderation team is wholly independent of The Planetary Society. The Planetary Society has no influence over decisions made by the UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderators.
SUPPORT THE FORUM
Unmannedspaceflight.com is a project of the Planetary Society and is funded by donations from visitors and members. Help keep this forum up and running by contributing here.