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Thread: Natural Nuclear Reactors

  1. #1 Natural Nuclear Reactors 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I thought this was kind of cool. I only have couple questions: Is this a vastly scaled down version of what happens in a star? This article kind of reminded me of 2001 Space Odyssey sequel. Could something like this still be happening in any of our solar system planets? Just another thing future planetary explorers need to worry about.


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    First question as per PhDemon. Second question - extremely unlikely. It was possible two billion years ago because concentrations of fissionable material were still great enough. Could it be occuring in other, newer planetary systems? Almost certainly.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    How hot would it have got and did they occur only underground? Planets that contain significantly higher concentrations of uranium 235, would they glow? How many years before the reactor shuts down in a 3000 parts per 100,000 of U235 situation, as in this instance?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman Lizard7Bo's Avatar
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    There are other forces at work in our solar system, for instance the gravitational tectonics that are going on in Io one of the moons of Jupiter. A tiny little moon whose core should be frozen is producing more heat then our own planet just by the stretching an compressing of the moon by Jupiter and one of its sister moons Europa. Pretty cool. And not at all related to this topic. But for in our solar system ill go one step further than John Galt and say its less than extremely unlikely, its a for sure nope.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    What affect would these hotspots have had on its surroundings at the time they were active? Could they have played a hand in evolution, or life's beginnings for that matter, seeing how they are at least 2 billion years old. They must have been around when microbial/single cell life on Earth was forming, no?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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