ORBYTS Week 2 – Is there life out there?

This week we learnt more about the different planets in our solar system and also more about what life needs to survive. We learnt this in the form of being given questions that we had to answer.

For example did you know the temperature life can survive in is roughly -20 to 120 degrees Celsius? Or that liquids are essential for life to flourish?

We also found out that Mars use to have water on it but it froze. However some people believe thanks to that life could of existed on Mars and small organisms may be alive under Mars’s surface.

Artist’s impression of Mars with an ocean. Credits: NASA/GSFC

Another question was on why Venus is such a hostile environment to life. The reason is that; thanks to a runaway greenhouse effect theirs no water, too much CO2 and the pressure is too high for anything to survive there.

Finally we concluded by estimating how likely it is that life exists on other planets. We all agreed that, yes, life probably exists elsewhere in the universe but the chances of it being intelligent is smaller and even if intelligent life does exist somewhere we are unlikely to ever meet them. In fact it’s possible life existed somewhere else in the universe and then went extinct, all before humanity as a species was born. Or alternatively we may be alone right now but millions of years into the future, after humanity is dead, life may begin to appear on a different planet. There is no way to know which idea is correct.