Learning that liquid water may exist beneath the surface of more than a few Solar System objects naturally raises astrobiological questions. But as Caleb Scharf notes in Water Erupts Across the Solar System, a much larger issue is whether the kind of chemoautotrophic microbes we find on Earth (Scharf calls them ‘rock eaters’) could have evolved there in the first place. Habitats that may support an Earth microbe aren’t necessarily capable of originating their own forms of life, although the question is obviously going to propel much future study.
- Seeds of life can sprout in moon’s icy pockets
- Kepler-413b: Wobbles of a Circumbinary World