With “The habitable zone is the region

With today’s high powered telescopes and space explorations, it seems as though we are closer than ever as to answering the question of is there extraterrestrial life. Some people may ask, how would we know where to look among these billions and billions of galaxies, and would we recognize life out there if we had found it. In many ways, our search for extraterrestrial life has been a search for our own reflection, because life on earth is the only model of life we have. All life on earth as the same basic needs: liquid water, an energy source, and chemical building blocks. Astrobioligits have approached their research with that same list of requirements. At the top of that list, is liquid water. “Water is a really good solvent, which means you can dissolve things really easy into it. It also likes to form chemical bonds with different molecules that are beneficial for life.” In looking for worlds with a water substance, astronomers use a concept called “The Habitable Zone”. “The habitable zone is the region around a star, where a planet heated by the star is not too hot, not too cold, but just right for life.” In that just right zone, water can exist in a liquid form, and that’s exactly where Earth is in our Solar System. But Earth’s neighbors, Mars and Venus, show the boundaries of this zone, with an average of 864 degrees fahrenheit. Venus is too hot. Mars is almost too cold, but evidence of seeping water has been found there. In recent years, astronomers have expanded their search to include planets orbiting other stars, known as exoplanets. But just because a planet falls within the habitable zone around a distant star, doesn’t mean that the planet has liquid water. “If we can look at it’s atmosphere, we’ll search for water vapor, a gas that on a rocky planet shouldn’t be there unless there are liquid ocean reservoirs.” It turns out, the habitable zone isn’t the only place to find liquid water. Already, liquid water has been found on some of satern and jupiters moons, this being far from the warmth of the sun. These icy moons were long thought to be too frozen to be habitable, but recent NASA missions have detected liquid water spewing out into space. There, the heat comes from another source, gravity. “Many of these moons have orbits that are not circular, and so they expierience a changing gravitational force as they orbit around their aparent planets”. That changing gravitational force creates friction, that melts the frozen moon from within.” This process is aparently called “Tital Heating”, which opens the door for other places to be considered just right for life. Whether alien life looks like us or not, the quest to find it, and our understanding of life, continues to evolve. “Finding life beyond Earth, even primitive life, it would mean that life is a normal part of cosmic evolution and that would change our views, I think, of our place in the cosmos.

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