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  • 3 weeks later...

Would this work if I leave a huge bucket of water floating in a vacuum in space and say I included a bunch of other elements like carbon and nitrogen (and anything essential for life) into the bucket then

if I came back in 500 billion years, would there be life in the bucket?

 

 

You'd have a very old frozen bucket

 

Maybe on a larger scale something like this could work - but its highly doubtful in a bucket

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If it was in its own Goldilocks zone, it could conceivably work, but I'm skeptical of anything happening on a fullblown water world. There's too many things that need to happen away from the deep water. You would need an area where nucleosides could amass together into complex nucleic acids. You would need an area where lipids could form and congregate rather than dissipate and dissolve into oblivion. I just don't see this happening in pure deep water, but rather on land, where you have lots of other minerals and elements contributing in sufficient amounts.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't think you would. To only create amino acids, the Urey-Miller experiment relied on a more complex system involving electricity and a miniaturized atmosphere (with evaporation and condensation of water). To fully create life, the system would likely have to be even more complex. (Understand that by complex, I mean relative to a bucket of molecules in a vacuum. The Urey-Miller experiment astonished people by its simplicity in creating amino acids through a simulated natural environment.) If I remember correctly from skimming a book called Life Ascending, the most plausible explanation is that life was created with the aid of continuous thermal cycling from deep volcanic vents in the ocean. Something like that would probably be necessary. Nobody has created life in laboratory though, so we can't know for sure.

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Would this work if I leave a huge bucket of water floating in a vacuum in space and say I included a bunch of other elements like carbon and nitrogen (and anything essential for life) into the bucket then

if I came back in 500 billion years, would there be life in the bucket?

If it is anywhere near a star (with any meaningful temperatures), the water would evaporate into the vacuum of space.

 

When it's far away from a star, the temperature would be so low (only a few Kelvin) that (almost) no chemical reactions occur.

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You might need a flash of lightning to start the reactions - not many clouds above a bucket of water in space.

 

Cosmic rays, solar wind. There's already arguments that life originated from comets anyway, or at least some sort of dormant life.

Edited by questionposter
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Would this work if I leave a huge bucket of water floating in a vacuum in space and say I included a bunch of other elements like carbon and nitrogen (and anything essential for life) into the bucket then

if I came back in 500 billion years, would there be life in the bucket?

if the bucket were a giant molecular cloud then there might be

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Does this regress the problem one step to the left, what is the origin story for these panspermia life forms from space?

 

I don't think there is a consensus on that. Some say bacterium formed in space, some say the ingredients were in comets and the impact made life, some say the impact made dormant bacterium alive again, some say a comet passing by the sun got enough heat to start life on it, etc.

Edited by questionposter
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