This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
The solar system is a stellar system outside the suburbs of the Milky way. On the surface, this stellar system is no different from other stellar systems. However, due to the birth of the living planet earth and the birth of intelligent human beings, the original ordinary galaxy has become extraordinary.
The solar system is the mother galaxy of human beings. From the moment we walked out of the earth, we began to study and explore the secrets of the solar system. The solar system is a galaxy with many planets. In addition to the eight major planets, there are also a large number of asteroids. The eight major planets, except Venus and mercury, do not have their own satellites. Other planets have different numbers of satellites. For example, the moon is the satellite of the earth.
Whether it is a planet or a satellite, the environment on its surface has its own characteristics. The earth is the most beautiful ecological planet, and the suitable environment gives birth to life and human beings. Mars is a desolate desert planet, which looks like a red world. The structure of Venus is the most similar to that of the earth, but the surface environment is very bad. The temperature reaches 460 degrees Celsius, and there is an acid rain layer, which often causes some acid rain.
Mercury is the closest planet to the earth, the surface environment is also very bad, the temperature is very high. In many people’s opinion, mercury and Venus should be the most terrible planets in the solar system. In fact, after the observation of the probe, we found that IO is the most terrible planet in the solar system, and Venus and mercury can only rank second and third.
By name, we should know that IO is one of Jupiter’s 64 moons. As a matter of fact, Jupiter is the largest gas giant planet in the solar system, with 64 moons. Among them, IO is the closest satellite to Jupiter, with a diameter of about 3642 km, which is the fourth largest satellite in the solar system.
In many people’s cognition, Jupiter has been out of the habitable zone of the solar system, where the solar radiation is constantly decreasing. The surface temperature of the planet running in this position should be relatively low, which is a cold world. Through the observation of the probe, the moons around Jupiter are basically in a cold and frozen world, but this IO is very different from other moons.
IO is equivalent to a wolf running out of the sheep. Its surface temperature is not only cold, but also a hot world. Through the probe, we can see that the environment on the surface of IO is very bad, surpassing mercury and golden Mars, which is a world of lava.
The surface temperature of Europa is very high. Standing at the position of the moon in the solar system, the solar radiation it receives is far less than that of mercury and Venus. So its surface temperature is so hot that it can not be from the solar radiation. So what causes it to become a purgatory world?
When Voyager spacecraft passed near Jupiter about 20 years ago, it observed that there was very active volcanic activity on the surface of Io. Ground scientists continuously monitored IO and found that it was the most frequent volcanic activity object in the solar system. Later, the Galileo spacecraft discovered that the temperature of the volcano hot spot on the surface of Io was as high as 1610 degrees Celsius, compared with the volcano on the earth (such as Kilauea volcano in Hawaii) only about 1000 degrees Celsius.
It is the frequent volcanic activity that makes IO the most terrible planet in the solar system. Although it is not near the sun, its own conditions create a terrible surface. According to the observation of the detector, there are more than 400 active volcanoes distributed on the surface of IO, which can be said to be a world of volcanic eruptions.
Europa’s atmosphere is extremely thin, only one billionth of the earth’s atmospheric pressure. The main component is sulfur dioxide, and there are also a few sodium chloride, sulfur monoxide and oxygen. Its internal structure is mainly composed of silicate stone and iron, so why is the live fire activity of IO so frequent?
Under normal circumstances, if the volcanic activity of a planet is very frequent, it means that it is a very young planet, which has not been formed for a long time and has not completely stabilized. So is that the case with IO? In fact, IO is not a very young moon. The main reason for its frequent volcanic activity is Jupiter.
As we said earlier, IO is the nearest moon to Jupiter. You should know that the mass of Jupiter is very large. All the other seven planets are not as big as Jupiter. We can see how large its mass is. Large mass brings stronger gravity, so Jupiter can attract so many moons. As the nearest one to Jupiter, it is also most affected by the gravity of moons.
Jupiter’s strong gravity constantly rips IO, making it difficult for its geological activities to stabilize quickly, but presents a very active state. Of course, this situation will not last forever. With the passage of time, IO will finally stabilize from its active state, and the volcanic activity will slowly stop. At that time, the Ganymede would form a high mountain, and the temperature would drop step by step, becoming similar to Mars.
Of course, it will take quite a long time for IO to complete this experience. When it really stabilizes and turns from a purgatory planet to a planet like Mars, maybe human beings have already stepped out of the solar system and entered the interstellar age. So could there be life in io? In the eyes of many people, how can there be life on a planet worse than Venus and Mars?
In the past, scientists would have thought so, but with the continuous development of science and technology and the deepening of life detection. We found that the adaptability of life to the environment is far beyond our imagination. Even on a beautiful planet like the earth, there will still be life in some extremely harsh environments. The earth’s volcano is not a forbidden zone for life, and there are also some lives that are not afraid of high temperature.
Now some scientists speculate that there may be life in the atmosphere and even on the surface of Venus. If life can exist in Venus’ environment, life may not exist in Europa’s worse hot environment. There may be some life like the high temperature environment of Io. Of course, the life that can survive in such a bad environment must be very extraordinary. On the contrary, the adaptability of life on earth to the environment is not strong. As long as there are some drastic changes in the environment, it will lead to the occurrence of mass extinction of life.
Of course, we are only guessing whether there is life in io at present. If we want to really find out, we still need the probe to land on its surface for more detailed mobile exploration. Unfortunately, with the current scientific and technological strength of mankind, it is difficult for us to land on the surface of Venus for a long time of exploration, let alone the more distant and worse io.
Only when the human scientific and technological strength further, with a more powerful detector, we have the hope to really board IO, to explore its surface in more detail. At that time, all the mysteries on the surface of IO will be revealed by us.