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Gnargenox
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

28 Jan 2017 02:26

I wonder how the atmosphere on the example exo-planet (RS 0-B-3894743-1646-33-B-7338743-B02 3) is breathable at only .229 atm. It seems like at 0.21 atm a 100% pure O2 atmosphere with no inert balance gas should be fine for people, but at about 0.35 atm (around 8000m elevation on Earth) life is impossible. Pulmonary and cerebral edema lead to death. You could possibly survive down to .12 atm but need a pure oxygen supply. At 0.0618 atm water boils at human body temp. With a higher atm more oxygen is forced into the lungs there-by requiring less percentage of oxygen in the air. Oxygen toxicity must be considered for exposure concentrations greater than 50 percent at 1 atm. Pure oxygen can be breathed for limited periods of time: up to 3 hours at 1 atm and 1 hour at 3 atm of pressure. Adverse effects from breathing pure oxygen at sea-level pressure can be felt in 4 to 24 hours. Plus that's pretty low gravity, that surely affects how well humans breath too, they would lose lower body strength and their lungs would expand due to the lack of gravity. I guess I can let that example planet slide for now.
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Here's a half dozen of planets that come fairly close but fall short of breathable for various reasons
6atempts.jpg

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List of other "Close, but don't try to light that cigar just yet" candidates:
HIP 43077 4 : .198atm 18% O2, 1.6% CO2, .040% SO2, .002% H2S, .283% CH4 Temp 10F
Lambda Aurigae 4 : .305atm 28% O2, 1.7% CO2, .314% SO2, .0005% H2S, .011% CH4 Temp 30F
RS 5408-0-7-913985-114 3 : 1.93atm 16% O2, 8.3% CO2, .482% SO2, 0.00% H2S, 0.00% CH4 Temp 173F
RS 6637-5538-8-20178-87 B3 : .891atm 15% O2, 7.3% CO2, .095% SO2, .003% H2S, .001% CH4 Temp 171F
RSC 5510-4444-3-112-5 3 : .507atm 14% O2, 8.0% CO2, 1.91% SO2, .003% H2S, .009% CH4 Temp 193F
RS 8475-7-6-21783-242 3 : .989atm 49% O2, 7.6% CO2, .166% SO2, .183% H2S, .911% CH4 Temp 121F
RS 1169-2-4-2798-255 4 : .596atm 50% O2, 7.7% CO2, .124% SO2, .024% H2S, .947% CH4 Temp 12F
RS 6637-5538-8-20179-76 B3 : .886atm 64% O2, 8.5% CO2, .996% SO2, .108% H2S, .078% CH4 Temp 123F
RS 6552-173-5-17103-55 7 1.12atm 78% O2, 8.8% CO2, .145% SO2, .004% H2S, 1.47% CH4 54F
HIP 11389 4 .984atm 81% O2, 6.6% CO2, 1.49% SO2, .465% H2S, 6.28% CH4 30F
RS 8475-6-5-7001-283 B3 .860atm 51% O2, 11.4% CO2, .158% SO2, .009% H2S, .132% CH4 168F
RS 6637-5538-6-315-224 4 1.04atm 30% O2, 13.4% CO2, .141% SO2, .007% H2S, .071% CH4 57F
RSC 6637-1720-4-1797-28 5 1.39atm 114% O2, 20.0% CO2, 2.8% SO2, .187% H2S, 1.44% CH4 6F
RSC 5563-545-3-31-3 8 .968atm 71% O2, 25.1% CO2, .056% SO2, .073% H2S, .260% CH4 41F
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I have a feeling the algorithms used by SE to generate atmospheres will not allow numbers to be in breathable range for humans.
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

28 Jan 2017 06:26

Gnargenox wrote:
Source of the post I wonder how the atmosphere on the example exo-planet (RS 0-B-3894743-1646-33-B-7338743-B02 3) is breathable at only .229 atm. It seems like at 0.21 atm a 100% pure O2 atmosphere with no inert balance gas should be fine for people, but at about 0.35 atm (around 8000m elevation on Earth) life is impossible. Pulmonary and cerebral edema lead to death.


You are confusing total pressure and partial pressure.  
The death zone above 8000m, pulmonary edema, and cerebral edema are all consequences of low partial pressure of oxygen, which means there are fewer molecules of oxygen available for you to breathe.  The partial pressure of O2 on that world is 0.197atm, which means there is 94% as much oxygen available as at Earth's surface.  Breathing there is like breathing at just 500m altitude on Earth -- except a lot colder. :)
 
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

29 Jan 2017 19:15

I suppose I was more concerned about baricity (chemical density in the air compared to your internal cerebrospinal fluid density - or having a lower specific gravity than fluid in your body), not the low oxygen content of partial pressure below .2 atm. Density determines the amount of molecules on a particular gas in a volume. Plus maintaining pressure above the Armstrong Limit (> 0.0618 atm) does not guarantee respiration is possible, it is useful only as a benchmark for emergency situations. Response to hypobaria (low O2 air density) is more complex than the acclimation to reduced partial pressures of O2 inherent to low atms. Clearly survival in hypobaric conditions requires a dynamic adaptive response not accounted for here.

Hypobaria (lower chemical air density) does not equal hypoxia. There is both hypobaric hypoxia as well as isobaric (hypoxic) hypoxia. Two dominant items in the lungs are oxygen and water vapor at partial pressures. In a dry, pure O2 atmosphere the water vapor in the lungs displaces all the oxygen and can lead to a fast death by hypoxia. As atmospheric pressure is reduced, the rate of gas exchange will increase, how this affects O2 in the lungs I don't know, but even in atmospheres with high relative humidity (around 95%) transpiration rates still increase as atmospheric pressure is reduced leading to desiccation, as all moisture is removed though the mouth, nose, eyes etc. As moisture is taken away, frostbite can occur to any wet tissue exposed. Another thing about hypobaric environments is the difficulty to hear due to sound wave propagation being stifled. Even plants have trouble at lower air density, such as the ripening of fruit.

Gravity too, plays a large roll in how chemicals settle in the intrathecal spaces of your body, as hypobaric mixtures will rise in relation to the gravitational pull and will not enter the body's fluid system. Partial pressures on low gravity worlds can be deceiving. What looks like a somewhat tolerable .014 atm is actually equivalent to a deadly 0.04atm on a Mars like world, while Super-earths with higher gravity might have low density oxygen-rich atmospheres that are breathable.
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

30 Jan 2017 01:29

Gnargenox wrote:
Source of the post  In a dry, pure O2 atmosphere the water vapor in the lungs displaces all the oxygen and can lead to a fast death by hypoxia.

Is that right?  I find it very difficult to believe, since water vapor is a small proportion of the molecules even in fully saturated air.  Certainly breathing dry air would dehydrate you very quickly, but do you have info for it causing hypoxia by displacing the oxygen?

At any rate, I'm sure there are effects based on the mixing ratios of the different gases and whatnot, but these are harder to compute and I think lower order corrections.  If there's a general way to compute them, then that's one thing, but otherwise I think going by partial pressure is sufficient to give a good idea of how breathable the air is.
 
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

30 Jan 2017 12:48

Yes, I agree, I think I am splitting hairs at this point. I would prefer not to worry about barometric pressures, relative humidity and other minor factors, when partial pressure is all that is needed for a quick understanding. Extreme cases at the end of the spectrum and number of minutes left to live are unnecessary equivocations.

I got that from High-Altitude Illnesses: Physiology, Risk Factors, Prevention, and Treatment by Andrew T. Taylor, M.D.

"At sea-level, the barometric pressure is 760 mmHg. The percentage of oxygen (O2) in dry air is 20.94%; consequently, the partial pressure of O2 at sea-level is 159 mmHg (0.2094 × 760). When air is inhaled, it is warmed and saturated with water vapor. At 37°C, the saturated vapor pressure in the lungs is 47 mmHg regardless of altitude; because water vapor displaces oxygen and nitrogen, the partial pressure of inspired oxygen is 149 mmHg (0.2094 × (760 – 47)). The partial pressure of water vapor in the lungs at sea-level accounts for only 6% of the total barometric pressure, but water vapor becomes increasingly important at high altitudes. On the summit of Mount Everest, where the barometric pressure is only 250 mmHg, water vapor accounts for nearly 19% of the total barometric pressure, further diminishing the oxygen availability."
(West JB, Schoene RB, Milledge JS. High Altitude Medicine and Physiology. 4th ed. London, Great Britain: Hodder Arnold; 2007. p. 23.)

&

"At rest, the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2) in the lungs is 40 mmHg, which further displaces oxygen. Although the partial pressure of inspired oxygen at sea-level is 159 mmHg, the combined effects of CO2, water vapor, and dead space reduce the partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) in the lungs to approximately 100 mmHg. Hyperventilation can reduce the partial pressure of CO2 in the lungs below 40 mmHg, thereby allowing the partial pressure of O2 to rise. This effect is exaggerated at altitude. On the summit of Mount Everest where the inspired PO2 is only 29% of its value at sea-level, alveolar ventilation is increased by a factor of 5. This extreme hyperventilation reduces the alveolar PCO2 to 7–8 mmHg, about one-fifth of its normal value. Because of the reduction of PCO2, the alveolar PO2 can rise and be maintained near 35 mmHg, enough to keep the climber alive."
(West JB. The physiologic basis of high-altitude diseases. Ann Intern Med. 2004;141:780–800.)
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

30 Jan 2017 13:40

Hey people,

I'm new to this fantastic space simulator.
I guess this thread continues the "Planets with Life"-Thread from the old forum.

I recently found an earth-like planet which I think is very rare. It's orbiting a yellow dwarf with 12 planets and an yummy looking gas giant in its neighborhood. The planet has an breathable atmosphere, terrestric and oceanic multicellular life and very nice skyviews from its polar regions.
But the best are the massive rings. Looks really nice. Take a look:

scr00001.jpg


scr00002.jpg


scr00003.jpg


scr00004.jpg


scr00005.jpg


scr00006.jpg


scr00007.jpg


scr00008.jpg
Greetings
Aledude, the german dude :)
(sorry for my improvable english)
 
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

30 Jan 2017 13:42

No editing here? Forgot this: HIP 17174 6
Greetings
Aledude, the german dude :)
(sorry for my improvable english)
 
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

31 Jan 2017 02:34

Gnargenox wrote:
Source of the post I got that from High-Altitude Illnesses: Physiology, Risk Factors, Prevention, and Treatment by Andrew T. Taylor, M.D.

Oh wow, thanks for the source!  That's very interesting, and now I understand the error in my thinking -- water vapor is a small proportion of fully saturated air at sea level.  But the saturation pressure depends only on temperature, so for air to be saturated it must take up a higher proportion as the ambient pressure decreases.  Simple, but I'd never thought of that. :)  And it does grow quickly enough to become important -- 19% at Everest altitude makes a big difference.
 
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

31 Jan 2017 14:17

Tatooine ][.jpg

I remember seeing 17174 6. It has too much CO2 unfortunately.

Speaking of air density and humditiy, what are the first and second columns describing next to Atmospheric Pressure & Air Density

The closests I've found so far: RS 1228-1369-7-523013-4 A3
A Warm Desert with Organic Multicellular terrestrial life, in the Andromeda Galaxy
Right near the end of the Corellian run, in Arkanis Space, it has 3 Moons, and Binary G-type suns;
It's a near match to Tatooine!

02: Oxygen is just a hair better than Earth's at 28% compared to our partial pressure ~20.98%.
CO2 : Carbon Dioxide is at 1.8% giving you shortness of breath but adaptable over a few days time.
SO2 : Sulphur Dioxide is at .000678 atm or ~.7% (7E^-4) which would mean death in a few minutes.

But... I was wondering since it is a tidally locked eyeball world,
the dark side would be much colder than the day side (which is around 210°F)
that MAYBE it would get cold enough to snow, and the SO2 would condensate out of the air,
allowing you to comfortably breathe, even though you'd need to be sure it was 28°F or lower.

Poking around the dark side I see the temp is never below a scalding 146°F :(

Having gravity at .48781g makes me wonder about baricity again... maybe cut the rates in half for both O2 and SO2..
and I wonder what this means: Air Density = .32061 kg/m^3 ???

In an infinte universe I can't seem to find any planets any better than Saturn's moon Titan.

6 more candidates that do not cut the mustard:

zclosebutno.jpg
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

31 Jan 2017 14:52

Gnargenox wrote:
Yes, I agree, I think I am splitting hairs at this point. I would prefer not to worry about barometric pressures, relative humidity and other minor factors, when partial pressure is all that is needed for a quick understanding. Extreme cases at the end of the spectrum and number of minutes left to live are unnecessary equivocations.

I got that from High-Altitude Illnesses: Physiology, Risk Factors, Prevention, and Treatment by Andrew T. Taylor, M.D.

"At sea-level, the barometric pressure is 760 mmHg. The percentage of oxygen (O2) in dry air is 20.94%; consequently, the partial pressure of O2 at sea-level is 159 mmHg (0.2094 × 760). When air is inhaled, it is warmed and saturated with water vapor. At 37°C, the saturated vapor pressure in the lungs is 47 mmHg regardless of altitude; because water vapor displaces oxygen and nitrogen, the partial pressure of inspired oxygen is 149 mmHg (0.2094 × (760 – 47)). The partial pressure of water vapor in the lungs at sea-level accounts for only 6% of the total barometric pressure, but water vapor becomes increasingly important at high altitudes. On the summit of Mount Everest, where the barometric pressure is only 250 mmHg, water vapor accounts for nearly 19% of the total barometric pressure, further diminishing the oxygen availability."
(West JB, Schoene RB, Milledge JS. High Altitude Medicine and Physiology. 4th ed. London, Great Britain: Hodder Arnold; 2007. p. 23.)

&

"At rest, the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2) in the lungs is 40 mmHg, which further displaces oxygen. Although the partial pressure of inspired oxygen at sea-level is 159 mmHg, the combined effects of CO2, water vapor, and dead space reduce the partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) in the lungs to approximately 100 mmHg. Hyperventilation can reduce the partial pressure of CO2 in the lungs below 40 mmHg, thereby allowing the partial pressure of O2 to rise. This effect is exaggerated at altitude. On the summit of Mount Everest where the inspired PO2 is only 29% of its value at sea-level, alveolar ventilation is increased by a factor of 5. This extreme hyperventilation reduces the alveolar PCO2 to 7–8 mmHg, about one-fifth of its normal value. Because of the reduction of PCO2, the alveolar PO2 can rise and be maintained near 35 mmHg, enough to keep the climber alive."
(West JB. The physiologic basis of high-altitude diseases. Ann Intern Med. 2004;141:780–800.)


I remember speculating on the old forum about a "quick and dirty" partial terraforming of Mars by simply adding 0.2 atm of O2 for easier living. How might the issues in the quote affect breathing in such an atmosphere?
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

01 Feb 2017 13:02

Great question, I will look into that today and get back to you tonight.
I think I have a nice surprise too, a breathable planet on the edge of the possibilities.
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

01 Feb 2017 15:01

Ooh, can't wait to see what you found. :)

Also as for 
Gnargenox wrote:
Source of the post and I wonder what this means: Air Density = .32061 kg/m^3 ???

this is the density (mass per volume) of the air. For Earth it is about 1.225kg/mol, and a general way to calculate it is:

[math] 

where P is the pressure, M is the average molar mass of the gas (e.g. grams per mole), R is the gas constant, and T is the temperature.  (Gotta be careful with the units though.)

Also, with the two columns in the atmosphere tab (for that part with air pressure, density, temperature, and sound speed), the ones on the left are for the conditions at the surface, while the right is for the location of the camera (so it varies with your altitude).
 
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

01 Feb 2017 17:23

Thanks Watsisname, I really couldn't figure out why the two columns, surface measurements and measurements for camera location are both vital. I can use that info properly now! Even though this is all a crash course in atmospherics and gas laws for me lol.
-
PlutonianEmpire wrote: I remember speculating on the old forum about a "quick and dirty" partial terraforming of Mars by simply adding 0.2 atm of O2 for easier living. How might the issues in the quote affect breathing in such an atmosphere?

Your lungs can not filter out gasses you pull in, in a breath. The space in your lungs is shared by all gasses in the atmosphere. As we mentioned, water vapor can take up increasingly larger spaces in your lungs, depended on temperature or the humidity. You can attest to the difficulty of breathing on a hot humid day, compared to a dry winter's day.

Hyperventilation (alveolar ventilation) can increase the partial pressure of which ever gas makes up the largest percentage in the air. It is exaggerated at higher altitudes, or when pressure is lower, and your muscles can exchange these gasses easier.
Climbers on Mt Everest can use Hyperventilation to increase the amount of O2 in their lungs.

The barometric pressure on Mars averages .087 psi or 6 mbar or 4.5mmHg
which is around 6% of Earth's mean sea-level pressure of 14.69 psi or 1.013 bar or 760mmHg
The average temperature on Mars is though to be around -55°C giving the average water vapor pressure of .0235 mmHg

If the percentage of O2 on Mars was raised to 0.2000175 atm or 20% as you suggested, you would have (.2 * 4.5) .9mmHg. Taking away the amount of O2 displaced by water vapor at -55°C you would have (.9 - .0235) .8765 mmHg of O2 in your lungs. You need about 40 mmHg for the O2 to be forced into the blood stream.

But that is assuming there is the same amount of water vapor on Mars as there is on Earth. However on Mars there is about 10,000 times less than on Earth, so its presence would not make much difference to the amount of available O2 in your lungs. So, even if the atmosphere on Mars was 100% O2 there is not enough air density to make it to your brain. One solution is to increase the temperature of Mars thereby allowing gases to become dense enough.

----

Another note about Martian air is about the wind. Wind pressure or dynamic pressure or velocity pressure of wind is measured where: Pressure equals .5 * the density of the atmosphere * the velocity squared.

Air density on Mars is .02 kg/m^3 and on Earth it is 1.225 kg/m^3.
A 60 mile and hour wind is the same as a 26.817 meter per second wind.
Doing the math above, on Earth a 60mph wind exerts 440pa while on Mars it would exert 7pa.
Reversing the numbers to give the same pressure on either side of the equation it would take a 7.7mph wind on Earth to equal a 60mph wind on Mars.

That of course doesn't take into account gravity so it would be higher than equal to a 7.7mph wind.
Martian gravity is 37.7% that of Earth's. So a 60mph wind exerts 440pa (*.377) or actually 166pa on Mars; 166pa = .5(*.02kg/m^3)*(128.8 m/s^2), or a 60mph wind on Earth is equal to a 288mph wind on Mars.

note: pa means Pascals (kg*m^-1*s^-2), 1pa = 1 newton per square meter or the force to move 1kg over 1 meter in 1 second per square meter of area

note #2: As an armchair astro-biologist I really have no clue what I am talking about. I'm an unemployed gardener by trade.  :D
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

01 Feb 2017 18:08

Well, here is another that comes close. RS 1228-1369-7-974434-103 4

O2 is equal to the Everest Death zone numbers, even with acclimation you'd have a slow death by suffocation. Good news is there is no CO2 or H2S to worry about. Sulfur Dioxide is still deadly at the limits of what won't kill you instantly, but again I think the low temperature of -74°F would cause the SO2 to condensate out of the air as snow. You might find a nice spot somewhere below sea level and enjoy the fridge environment for an hour or so, without getting poisoned.
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Planets with potentially breathable atmospheres

01 Feb 2017 22:59

Gnargenox wrote:
Source of the post If the percentage of O2 on Mars was raised to 0.2000175 atm or 20% as you suggested,

I think PlutonianEmpire means to add 0.2atm worth of pressure with O2, so that the total pressure would be raised to a bit more than 0.2atm of which 90-some percent is oxygen and most of the rest is CO2.  This should be a breathable partial pressure of oxygen, but of course the low total pressure, gravity, and humidity, and the high CO2 concentration compared to Earth would play a role.  We're wondering how much of one -- do you think it would be a deal breaker for this scenario?
Gnargenox wrote:
Source of the post Well, here is another that comes close. RS 1228-1369-7-974434-103 4

Very close!  Certainly breathable for at least a little while.  
Actually it's pretty interesting how close that is with the example on the first page -- cool desert with a low pressure but high O2 concentration atmosphere.  Maybe this is a 'common' (not really common at all) type of desert atmosphere with the current generation system as far as oxygen goes.  I'd also noticed that the oceanias which have appreciable oxygen also tend to have a large fraction of CO2, and terras seem to have the most variability in their atmospheres.  (On the old forum I did a somewhat extensive sample study to see if there were patterns in their behavior -- if you're interested you can find it here.

Thanks again for all your detailed info on the more subtle aspects of breathability; it's really helpful. :)
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