life in the solar system

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The Solar System extends across such an immense amount of space it goes by its own measuring unit; the astronomical unit. The distance between the Earth and the Sun measures 1 astronomical unit. For instance, a journey to the edge of the Solar System would take 19 million years. For this reason, finding another planet with habitable conditions on which life could exist is highly likely. In particular, the key quality for life to be sustainable is for conditions that would allow water to maintain its liquid state. Two of the several locations scientists speculate that life may exist or did exist on, is Mars and Europa. There are three key environmental requirements of life. Firstly, a source of elements and molecules that possesses the ability to build living organisms. Secondly, a source of energy to establish growth and metabolism is also required, alongside the presence of a liquid medium to transport the molecules of life, which is the last environmental requirement for life as we know it to exist. The main reason for this speculation is due to the most important factor of there being evidence for the presence of liquid water on Mars and Europa. Mars, also known as ‘The Red Planet’, has a changing surface just like other terrestrial planets such as Earth. Its surface changes due to factors such as; the shift of its crust, volcanism, impacts from debris and dust storms. Europa is the sixth closest moon belonging to the planet Jupiter. Its surface consists of water ice with huge cracks on the ice. In addition, Europa also contains a sub-surface ocean, which is due to its tidal heating effect allowing for melted ice to exist. In the current period of the 21st century, liquid water cannot exist on the surface of Mars because of a f... ... middle of paper ... ...ble conditions to harbor liquid water at the present time, evidence proves that it did in fact once contain flowing water on its surface, thus subsequently proving that Mars once had an atmosphere thick and warm enough to sustain liquid water proving the existence for hydrated minerals found on its surface. Europa’s key feature of tidal heating allows for a sub-surface liquid ocean to exist under its icy surface in comparison to Earth’s liquid ocean where life is vastly present throughout suggests that the chances of life existing in Europa’s oceans to be highly probable. Hence, Mars had fulfilled the third environmental requirement for life and Europa meeting the third environmental requirement for life of possessing a liquid medium to transport the molecules of life, and so the likelihood of finding life or previously existing life on Mars and Europa is very high.

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