Talk:Carbon planet

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On the 3d line in italics "for enviornmental company see carbon planet" I suspect this is an artfact of a past revision/What is the meaning? I clicked on carbon planet and got a web site that offered to manage my carbon emissions to illiminate my carbon foot print for a fee/ Line 3 should be deleated?Ccpoodle 04:22, 17 October 2007 of 2132224 we will be able to get to the carbon planet and explore (UTC)


Why there are no carbon planets (or moons) in the Solar System? There are four gas giants, plenty of rocky bodies composed mostly of silicates and iron, some ice bodies; but where did the carbon go? Carbon is one of the most abundant element in the universe. So why in the Solar System this is so rare? --Grzes 19:09, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Carbon in the solar system tends to be bound up as hydrocarbons (as the most abundant element in the solar system is hydrogen, which readily reacts with carbon). All of the gas giant planets have substantial amounts of methane in their atmospheres. Earth did too in its early life (when it had a reducing atmospher instead of an oxidizing one). I'm kind of suspicious of the "carbon planet" idea in general for this reason (though I suppose it could happen in a hydrogen-poor environment near a bright star, if oxygen and nitrogen were already bound up into compounds). Abundance of the chemical elements lists oxygen as much more common than carbon, suggesting formation of CO2 in hydrogen-poor environments, though I suppose it's possible some bizzare set of circumstances would allow for rare exceptions. --Christopher Thomas 22:16, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Rare? Well, maybe not so rare. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) on 20:53, 7 June 2006.

I doubt that a planet could be made entirly of carbon, Im sure there must be some silicon in there too. and, if hydrogen does not combine with oxygen to form water than it will form hydrocarbons. So, creatures on these planets might have a hydrocarbon as a solvent, But this is unlikely (not impossible) because hydrocarbons are poor solvents of salts (cite: encyclopaedia brtinnica 2006 digital). Maybe not full on carbon planets, but planets with larger amounts of carbon are and interesting prospect. T.Neo 10:06, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

--infinitussollux 07:07, 07 July 2007 (CST)

Why is it assumed that water is required for the existance of extraterrestial life? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:34, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Greenhouse effect[edit]

Wouldn't a carbon compounds-rich atmosphere imply in an outsized greenhouse effect? (talk) 20:25, 29 October 2009 (UTC)


so according to Space Daily, WASP-12 is a system with a high carbon-to-oxygen ratio, so may have carbon planets... (talk) 11:02, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

There was a science fiction film from the '70s, Moon Zero Two, that had a asteriod of pure sapphire. That's what the carbon planet reminded me of! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:14, 26 August 2011 (UTC)


In the "Characteristics" section, I found that the words used exactly corresponded to those in this article. I reccomend that this be paraphrased. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fraqtive42 (talkcontribs) 02:46, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

How do I respiration[edit]

I read this gem at the end of the definition section:

"Extraterrestrial life might be possible if water is present, but the highly reducing environment could result in metabolism taking the opposite approach to that of terrestrial life, with oxygen-bearing compounds being eaten as food to react with the carbon-based atmosphere."

This sentence doesn't make any sense. First off, the word "metabolism" is confused with "respiration". Metabolism is just the sum of breaking molecules down and building them up, and refers to a number of biological events, while respiration is the assembly of energy molecules such as ATP. But that's not the important part.

Just because oxygen is uncommon on these planets doesn't mean that it is the food while carbon is the gas. The problems with that insinuation are numerous. First off, a lot of life on Earth doesn't use a carbon-oxygen system like animals do, while the statement seems to presume that it's the standard. There are plenty of examples of systems that don't use that pathway. The carbon-oxygen system is simply the respiration that eukaryotes use, so it's what we see most of the time.

Furthermore, the very reason life can happen on Earth is the abundance of both elements. Carbon planets don't have much oxygen, so how would anything "eat" oxygen there? In order for life to happen as it is understood on Earth, organisms on a carbon planet would need a usable oxidizing agent comparable to oxygen. It's true that respiration would work differently, and that it is still entirely possible, but the writer doesn't seem to realize that the problem isn't that the environment is reducing, it's that there isn't a known oxidizer. Again, it's totally possible, it's just the statement completely misses the real problem, the lack of oxygen.

The worst part is that the writer doesn't seem to know how respiration works in how he or she used the words "food" and "eaten". It doesn't matter what substance is breathed and what substance is eaten, both are sent to the cells, and it is there that respiration happens. The state actually doesn't matter at all, both are "consumption". Breathing and eating are purely animal traits. Bacteria don't eat or breathe, they just consume. Theoretically, on Earth we could have an organism that "eats" oxygen by consuming oxygen compounds such as rust, silica, or some other oxide, while "breathing" in carbon by consuming gaseous hydrocarbons such as methane. The carbon would then be catabolized then anabolized into compounds needed for life, using the oxides as the oxidizing compound and producing ATP in the process.

A much better statement would be "Extraterrestrial life might be possible, but due to the lack of oxygen, another element would have to be used as an oxidizing agent." It's vaguer, but much much much more accurate.

It already has a "citation needed" tag, but I think it's pretty erroneous enough to just be removed. Citation needed indeed. Macfluffers (talk) 13:46, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

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