Top 10 Places Where Life Might Exist Outside Of Earth

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Having discovered a myriad of planetary systems and myriad of planets previously unknown to humanity, the scientists shifted their focus to the new goal: find life outside

the Earth. There are many places where life might exist, but most of them are so far away that no research can be done at this point. However, there are also places proximal to our planet that researchers have been studying for the past years. Here is our top 10 list of places where life might exist outside of Earth.

 

10. Dying Red Giant Stars

Dying Red Giant Stars

Even though the dying red giants themselves do not have the potential to harbor life, they can possibly bring the dead planets back to life by defrosting the ice on their surface. Stars turn into red giants before their death, releasing the amounts of radiation enough to melt down the ice of an exoplanet or the moon. After the process is completed, the exoplanet would have a liquid ocean on its surface and with it the potential to harbor life. 

9. Venus

Venus Top 10 Places Where Life Might Exist Outside Of Earth

There is not really much hope for Venus to have any possible life, but there are still researchers who believe the opposite. The planet has thick clouds of sulfuric acid, which some scientists believe can harbor floating life. Venus has its own bacteria, similar to bacteria on Earth, and these bacteria can potentially evolve into more complicated forms of life. 

8. Orion Nebula

Orion Nebula Life Exists

A diffused nebula in the Milky Way, Orion Nebula is said to have signs of organic chemicals, which are required for the life to exist. There is a possibility that this nebula has water, methanol, sulfur oxide, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, and many others. 

7. Exoplanets

Exoplanets Places Where Life Might Exist Outside Of Earth

There are numerous exoplanets in the galaxy, which means there can be places where life might exist and no one on Earth would even know about them. There are many systems in the galaxy, like our solar system, but with a different star at the center and different exoplanets orbiting it. Humans started the exploration of those systems and planets only within the past ten years, finding organic materials here and there, but no sufficient evidence was found to prove the existence of life yet. 

6. Io

Io Places Where Life Might Exist Outside Of Earth

One of the Jupiter’s moons makes it to the list due to its high geological activity. The planet’s surface has more than 400 active volcanoes, whose activity resulted in a gas atmosphere around Io containing something similar to oxygen. In addition, the volcano activity regularly produces heat. However, there is not a big chance that Io has the same potential as the other places where life might exist further on our list, because there is no water or organic chemicals, as well as because it receives a large amount of radiation from Jupiter. 

5. Ganymede and Callisto

Ganymede and Callisto

These two Jupiter’s moons are thought to have water under their surfaces. However, the layers of rock that cover that water reaches 60 miles in thickness, which makes research on whether there is life under these rock layers an extremely long-term project involving complicated technologies. 

4. Europa

Europa Life Exists

Europa’s surface is covered with a ten-mile layer of ice, and the scientists suggested a theory that under this layer of ice, Europa is hiding an ocean containing oxygen. If the theory is right, it means Europa has more water than any other places where life might exist and even more water than the Earth. The ten-mile ice layer, however, makes it difficult to not only prove the existence of the ocean but also collect any kind of probes. 

3. Enceladus

Enceladus Life Outside Earth

Similar to Europa, Enceladus’ surface is covered with a layer of ice mixed with crust, but the layer is thinner. The southern hemisphere of this Saturn’s moon potentially has a subsurface ocean, constantly shooting out water vapor. This vapor has organic molecules that humans presume necessary to harbor life: carbon, oxygen and nitrogen. The next step is to analyze the vapor for the presence of microorganisms. 

2. Titan (Saturn’s Moon)

Saturn's Moon Titan Life Exist

Titan has a potential for the life to survive because of its thick atmosphere. It mostly consists of nitrogen, with some presence of methane and oxygen. Unlike our #7 Io, Titan’s atmosphere can protect life from radiation. In addition, Titan is the second body in space (after Earth) to have liquid lakes. There are many chemical processes going on its surface, and that encourages scientists to believe that further probes might discover life organisms. 

1. Mars

Mars-Life-Exists

Mars takes the first place on our list. Since it is closer to Earth than above mentioned planetary bodies, it is better researched, and the results of the research have been encouraging so far. The scientists found the traces of water potential across the planet: evidence of having lakes in the past, ice caps covering the poles, and traces of water in the planet’s soil. The samples of soil, rocks, or ice did not prove the current existence of life on Mars. The researchers, however, are looking for the evidence to prove that the planet used to harbor life in the past.

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