For more than 10 years people have been asked about the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life. Water is known to be one of the most important sources for the life existence. That’s why it is not surprising that when scientists open a new exoplanet or satellite, first of all, they try to find water. Howandwhys will tell you about 10 Earth-like planets in the Universe, where we have the most chances to discover what we have been looking for so long.
It is another of the moons of Jupiter, on which life is possible. Like other moons, Ganymede is suspected to have a subsurface ocean. And maybe the water in it can be contained even more than on the Earth. It turns out, that the observation of the surface of Ganymede showed some signs that once it flowed through the liquid water, seeping through the cracks in the icy crust of the satellite. The study of this satellite even helped the development of a new scientific way for investigation. It’s interesting to know that making the analysis of magnetic fields, scientists have discovered that there is some idea of the internal structure of the satellite, including data on the presence of liquid water under its surface. Nevertheless, Ganymede is not investigated with any spacecraft. However, in 2022 it is planned to send Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer, or simply JUICE, to it, an interplanetary autonomous station, which will study its system in 2030.
The largest satellite of Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun. This moon is the potential candidate for the role of an inhabited world. It has no liquid water. The water on this object is seen in the form of ice, as the temperatures are very low in there. But the liquids contained there consist of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon is a chemical compound of hydrogen and carbon in different proportions. It may be a key factor that allows life on Titan. It is possible that the potential life forms in there will not survive in the conditions of liquid water, so they exist like hydrocarbons. Although there are still some questions left, scientists are not yet going to reject the possibility of having a life on Titan.
One of the satellites of the gas giant of the Solar System planet, Jupiter. This is one more candidate for the role of the inhabited world because there is water, which can be kept in a liquid state. It is believed that Europa has all the necessary components for life: water, energy sources and the proper chemical composition of the environment. Water is hidden under some thick ice crust which is also the surface of Europa. Scientists think there is some possibility of direct research of Europe. Also, it was mentioned that the Europa Clipper mission should start in some years. A spacecraft will be sent to the satellite of Jupiter, so they will explore and take pictures of the Europa surface. Scientists want to analyze the features and shape of the satellite from all the sides, and also to look for signs of life on it.
Our red neighbour. The fourth planet from the Sun. It is known to be one of the most discussed candidates for inhabited worlds and probably the first aim of reaching. Despite different rumors, this planet is the place where people will find life. However, the NASA aerospace agency, which studies the surface of the planet with its rivers, found some proves that microscopic life can still exist. The obtained data show that in the past planet had real flows and rivers from the water. That’s why we can suppose that life on it could survive.
Another of the Saturn’s many satellites, considered as a potentially inhabited world, which may be rich in water. This water, as well as in Europa, is hidden under a thick ice crust. So, it can mean the probability of the existence of at least microbes. Before the presence of water on Enceladus was thought to be an assumption. These data were obtained in 2015 with the help of the Cassini spacecraft. Some months ago this thought was supported when the apparatus found hydrogen molecules on the satellite, showing the presence of chemical reactions found under its surface. The ocean water of Enceladus interacts with the deep rock, and the production of energy may be useful for living organisms.
Kepler-186f is an exoplanet that revolves around Kepler-186, about 500 light years from Earth. It was discovered in 2014 and soon became the first of the known terrestrial planets outside the solar system, which has an orbit that lied in the inhabited zone of its star. It is a bit larger than the Earth, so we can think that this is a rocky world. Also, the only features that allow the planet Kepler-186f to be included in the list of potential candidates for inhabited worlds are its size and location in the inhabited zone of the star.
According to NASA itself, the planet Kepler-452b “could become one of the best targets for searching for extraterrestrial life.” Nevertheless, for scientists, it will be difficult to explore it, as it is located at a distance of more than 1000 light years from the Earth. But in spite of that, scientists are pretty sure that Kepler-452b is located inside the inhabited zone of its star, and there are several other exoplanets of this system. Some time Kepler-452b was considered to be closest to the size of the Earth. Later, this fact went Kepler-186f.
Scientists have discovered this “super-Earth” quite recently. They have found out that it is located in the inhabited zone of the star, and they think that it is one of the most likely candidates for the discovery of life in there. This super-Earth is about 10 times more massive than our Earth. The class of planets belonging to the super-Earths is believed to be represented by planetary-type planets, but it is not possible to confirm it still. Even so, the LHS 1140b is the real mother of all the super-Lands. Scientists are sure that the planet belongs to a stony type, has an iron core, and living aliens in there. It is only 40 light-years away and therefore is an excellent target for sending messages that can attract the attention of intelligent life if it exists there. Moreover, the location of the LHS 1140b is relative to the Earth.
Around the star Tabby, or KIC 8462852, many controversies arose over the possibility of having an “alien megastructure” near it. Located nearly 1,500 light-years from Earth, this star was first discovered by the astronomer from Yale University, Tabeto Boyajyan, and immediately drew the attention of scientists with its strange behavior. The brightness of the star varies from time to time so much that this phenomenon cannot be explained. Moreover, here also there is a variant with the aliens. Allegedly, a super-developed extraterrestrial civilization could build a special device there, which collects its energy and converts it into something more useful. When a star loses energy, it flickers. However, the most recent and likely theory, trying to explain the extremely unusual behavior of the Tabi star, is the assumption that it eats one of its exoplanets.
The discovery of the planetary system, which is several million light-years from us, was announced some months ago. The system consists of seven terrestrial planets that wrap around an “ultracold” star and is the ideal way for finding a life outside the solar system. The study of these exoplanets in the future will become simple due to the way they rotate around their star. These planets were discovered by the transit method of observation with the help of a powerful telescope. Astronomers expect a rather warm temperature on these planets. And yet, despite the fact that all exoplanets of this system are considered as potential candidates for inhabited worlds, specifically the three TRAPPIST-1 planets can be suitable for this role best of all, as they are in the inhabited zone of the star. This area is the star, where on the surface of the earth-like planets, water could be contained in a liquid form.