One of the most interesting ideas for stirring up the imagination of not only professional astronomers, but also people of other professions, has always been the idea of finding evidence of extraterrestrial life. Our Universe is huge, almost infinite, and scientists can assume that there is another Earth, or even many Earth-like planets, outside our solar system. It is likely that somewhere in the Universe, there are planets with conditions that allow to develop and maintain some lifeforms.
But what about our solar system?
Today it is considered that the atmosphere is necessary when it comes about possibility of life, in other words, you need air, water, and gravity close to the terrestrial, as well as acceptable temperature. Astronomers have conducted a number of studies, searching for life on the planets of our solar system. They were looking for water, air, and other substances, common on planet Earth.
The study of our closest neighbor, Moon, has showed that this planet is totally devoid of any life forms and the conditions for its development. Moon has no atmosphere, no water, the temperature conditions are almost the same as in outer space. This means that it is about -100 degrees Celsius in the shadow and +100 on the sunny side with no intermediate values.
However, our solar system has planets, having conditions that are close to the terrestrial. And the first candidate for the possibility of the existence of life forms is Mars. It has an atmosphere, although extremely diluted, and the Earth-like gravity. There is water on Mars, and the average air temperature is about 60 degrees Celsius. Not the Caribbean, of course, but you can survive with the proper equipment.
And yet for humans, these conditions are unacceptable. The atmosphere is too thin to breathe. Wind speed may reach up to 100 metres per second, and rainfall contains sulphuric acid. Scientists still are not sure about the life forms on this planet, perhaps there are creatures that are able to survive in such conditions. But today, there is no official data confirming their existence.
Another planet in our solar system, more or less similar to Earth is Venus. It is a kind of the opposite of Mars. There is water, there is an atmosphere, but it is rather concentrated, dense, and too tight. The average air temperature is +420°. Greenhouse effect on this planet is the cause of high temperature, and thus it is sometimes referred to as the future of the Earth. But despite a number of similarities with earthly conditions, life on Venus is impossible.
Astronomers continue to study the planets in our solar system, maybe someday the research results refut the existing picture of the world. In addition, scientists examine planets outside our solar system. Maybe one day, we will be able to detect a planet similar to Earth, and we will arrange the contact with an alien civilization.
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