Life on Other Planets:
Possibility of life on other planets in space has been the biggest challenge for astronomers for many years. Top candidates list include moons and planets and despite some differences all of them are icy cold, smaller than Earth and located right here in our own solar system.
The greatest chance for life in space : Jupiter’s moon Europa
- Diameter:3122 km
- Temperature:-170 ° C
Plate tectonics can mean life on Jupiter’s moon Europa
Europa’s ice cover is full of large fissures with fractures, and it still creates new ice formations. Astronomers have long wondered how the planet stays in same form while producing new ice blocks.
Recently there have been some satisfying new explanations that the plates of the ancient ice are pushed into the ground and merge with the warmer underlying ice. Europe has all plate tectonic activity on its ground – just within ice sheets.
As Europa also houses a vast ocean under the ice and the right chemistry on the surface, it is now at the top of the astronomers’ list of planets that can accommodate life.
A circulation between the surface and the Europa’s interior parts that plate tectonics result may indeed lead molecules from the surface to the underground sea. This makes Europa the top candidate on the list of places with extraterrestrial life .
Second largest chance for life in space : Mars
- Diameter:6792 km
- Temperature:-63 ° C
Ice at the poles protects possible remnants of life
Mars is the planet that resembles Earth most, but the atmosphere is too thin to protect living organisms from radiation of the space. Nonetheless, Mars still takes place (2nd) in the list of planets harboring extraterrestrial life .
Data from the many probes on the surface of planet Mars is suggesting that the planet resembles the younger days of Earth. At this stage of Mars’ life, water on the surface and the volcanic activity could lead building blocks of life from the surface to the planet’s interior layers.
Although the surface today is dry and barren, microorganisms from the planet’s upper layers may have found shelter in the ice, which exist at the poles and just below the surface.
The third largest chance for life in space : Enceladus
- Diameter:499 km
- Temperature:-222 ° C
Life could exist in underground sea
Saturn’s moon Enceladus resembles Jupiter’s Europa, because it also has a liquid ocean under a thick ice sheet. Astronomers have recently discovered over 100 geysers of water vapor and ice on the Enceladus by analyzing images from Cassini space-craft which was recently sent for exploring Saturn and its moons.
The probes has previously revealed that there were kinds of building blocks of life with carbon and hydrogen, along with a core liquid rock.
Video: Is there possible life signs on other planets
3 Requirements for life on planets in space
In order to decide for the possibility of life on other planets or moons, the three prerequisites researchers are looking for are; water, energy and chemicals.
All cells contain liquid water, and there is certain clues reveals that the life on Earth started in the sea. Astro Biologists therefore believes that a stable amount of liquid water, is the first condition for life.
All living organisms have a metabolism that requires energy. It may come from the sun or chemical energy, which the organism extracts by burning nourishment.
All life on Earth is made up of molecules that are complex combinations of elements such as carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen.