Possible Places in the Universe where Humans can live

Possible Places in the Universe where Humans can live

 

Kepler 22b. Credit: Alpha Element

Climate change has had some adverse effects on the Earth and according to some climatologists, these changes are irreversible. They declare that it is only a matter of time before life becomes impossible here. Efforts are being made for many decades now to explore life somewhere else in the space. Mars has been the favorite resort of scientists in this regard as they found traces of water there.

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, seems quite determined to colonize Mars and make humans a multi-planetary species. Other than that, a lot of places have been explored in search of a habitable piece of land. Researchers have managed to point out some bodies where human life might flourish. The following list provides brief details about them.

·         Kepler 22B

According to Dr. Alan Boss, one of the researcher involved in finding a new planet, a newly discovered Earth-like planet could very well contain continental features where normal human-like life could exist. On the other hand, he also warned that it could be nothing more than a water world. NASA announced that they did found a planet orbiting around a star in the ‘habitable zone’. It is defined by a region where water can survive in a liquid state. According to some scientists, the star around which Kepler 22B is revolving is very much like our Sun. The predominant surface of this planet is still unknown but its discovery has excited quite a lot of researchers. If the speculation is true that it is mostly rocky, then it could resemble the Earth and can have a lot of water on it. Boss said.

Photo of Mars’ surface taken by Pathfinder rover. Credit: NASA JPL

·         Mars

As discussed already, Mars is the most viable place to colonize in the opinion of most of the scientists. Water is the most important commodity that determines the existence of life. In general, the surface of Mars is dry and arid but the presence of water aquifers beneath it changes the equation completely. About the availability of water on Mars, the statement of Green holds significance. He said,

The thinking used to be that astronauts were going to have brought all their water with them, but there is plenty of water on Mars. It’s weeping out of craters in the summers; there are aquifers. So, no, we’ve learned we won’t need to bring all of our water. We’ll bring a straw because we know where we can go to get it.

Another factor that aids life on Mars is the ease of farming. There are unimaginable nitrates in the Martian soil so fertilizing the crops won’t be an issue at all.

Titan. Moon of Saturn. Credit: NASA JPL

·         Titan

It is the large moon of Saturn and has a lot of nitrogen in its atmosphere just like the Earth. It is so huge that it is more planet than a moon. According to Green,

If it were going around the sun, we would call it a planet.

The major hurdles are the lack of temperature and a very small orbital period. The average temperature of Titan is -179.5o Celsius and the availability of liquid water becomes very difficult. The orbital period is 16 days with respect to 365 so a lot of adjustment will be needed by the humans.

Characteristics of Enceladus (Saturn’s Moon). Credit: ignimgs.com

·         Enceladus

It is also a moon of the Saturn but has ice all over it. Tidal Heating is melting a lot of it which is resulting in the spraying of water into space. This phenomenon helped it to become an eligible candidate for human life in the future.

Europa, Moon of Jupiter. Credit: dnaindia.com

·         Europa

This heavenly body is circling around the Jupiter. Its surface is also covered with ice but it is believed that it has an ocean 10 miles or more beneath its crust. The reason for this is that the volcanic vents are providing the necessary heat to melt its crust. Green believes that there is more water on Europa than the Earth. The only problem is the location of it which is inappropriate.

There are even more places in the universe where human existence is unlikely but possible. Neptune’s moon, Triton is one such example. Images of it taken by Voyager 2 also showed geysers. Having said all this, one thing that remains intact is that we have not managed to find a single place which is ready for human life. The positive we get from this is that there are numerous places waiting to be explored and made fit for human existence.

Triton, Moon of Neptune. Credit: Eso.org

Computer Scientist by qualification who loves to read, write, eat, and travel

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