Have you ever wondered what life would be like if we couldn’t live on Earth anymore? Or if humankind would survive not living on Earth?This is part three of the “Do we have a back-up plan?” series. In the first part of this series I have talked about the possible deaths of our planet, and in the second one, about Earth-like planets that humans could live their life on.
Here you have some more Earth-like planets or cosmic bodies we know of (and that would also support human life and the development of human activities):
The Kepler planets
The Kepler planets are not similar in many ways, they actually have multiple different features. What gives them the same name, though, is the fact that they have been discovered with the help of the Kepler space telescope.
During its continuous journey of orbiting different cosmic bodies (of approximately 10 years by now), the Kepler space telescope has analysed more than half a million stars and their surrounding planets. It has discovered around 2,600 potentially habitable planets.
Some of the most well-known Kepler planets are: 1649c, 22b, 452b, 438b, 186f. Most of these are almost the Earth’s size and have many common characteristics, such as they are found in the habitable zone of their host star, they have saltwater oceans, they have an ozone layer or are not exposed to massive quantities of radiation.
There are also slightly smaller or much bigger planets when compared to Earth, but they still are potential homes for humans. Size is not an aspect that matters so much.
Europa (Jupiter II)
There’s this myth going around that only Earth has water in our solar system (or even in the Universe). You don’t believe that, do you?
To debunk it properly, I’m going to talk about another cosmic body that’s got water (specifically two or three times more than Earth does).
It’s another moon! But this time, one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa.
Europa is now frozen at the surface, but in time, it could become a nice host. Its ocean is currently being studied and analysed. Still, there were no samples of water brought back to Earth. NASA says that its water could be studied easily without even landing on the moon, as it flows away from the actual body.
Despite its metallic core, Europa’s water is liquid under the frozen crust. That is likely because of the gravitational pull that Jupiter has on Europa. The way it browses when orbiting Jupiter is not perfectly circular. Thus, the gravitational pull oscillates from stronger to lighter, to even stronger, causing it to stretch and implicitly warm up.
NASA also says that Europa is to be studied further soon. For this, they are building a special spacecraft named “Europa Clipper“. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat!
Many studies are being conducted at the moment…so expect surprising facts about Earth-like planets to come up at any time!