This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown
With the help of science and technology, the topic of extraterrestrial life has never stopped since mankind stepped out of the earth to see the vast universe. In most people’s cognition, since the earth can give birth to life, it is unlikely that the earth is the only living planet in the vast universe, and there may be extraterrestrial life in the solar system.
For extraterrestrial life, scientists’ cognition and vision are naturally higher than ours, and most scientists naturally agree that extraterrestrial life exists. So as early as half a century ago, human beings started the extraterrestrial life search program. Although we all believe that extraterrestrial life exists in the universe, due to the limited scientific and technological strength of human beings, we are still unable to explore the solar system.
Therefore, the scope of human exploration of extraterrestrial life can only be limited to a small solar system. Even the solar system, the planets that can be really explored by human current technology are also very limited. Up to now, only the moon and Mars are available for landing exploration, and the moon has no atmosphere, no ecosystem, and it is unlikely that there will be life.
Mars is the most explored planet since mankind came out of the earth. In the past half century, the probe has successively found frozen water, methane and other organic matter on Mars, as well as many ancient river beds. All kinds of signs show that there is a great possibility of life on Mars now, but even if there is life on Mars, the probability is similar to the primitive simple life such as microorganism.
Scientists exploring extraterrestrial life do not want to find simple life like microorganisms, but to explore truly complex creatures, such as animals on earth and fish in the sea. Some people may say, why not explore intelligent life like human beings? In fact, everyone knows that there is unlikely to be a second intelligent civilization in the solar system.
If we want to search for extraterrestrial civilization, we can only go to other galaxies outside the solar system, but we can’t do it yet. Scientists for the detection of life in the solar system, the biggest expectation is to find some complex extraterrestrial organisms, then such organisms may exist? The possibility of Mars discovery is very small, so scientists will focus on other ecological planets.
It may be said that there are only three planets in the habitable zone of the solar system. Besides the earth, Venus and Mars are unlikely to have complex life. But if out of the habitable zone, the temperature of the planet’s surface will be very low. Can complex organisms exist in such a low temperature environment? Scientists naturally understand the importance of temperature to life.
The possibility of life on the surface of planets outside the habitable zone is very small because the temperature is too low. However, in addition to the surface, a planet has its internal environment. Life will not be born on the surface, and its internal environment may not be impossible. You should know that many earth like planets, although the surface is very cold, but the interior is a high temperature environment.
Take the earth for example, its internal temperature can reach thousands of degrees Celsius. Under the influence of this kind of geothermal energy, the temperature in the deep ocean of the earth is not cold at all, but presents a kind of warm water temperature. It is the right temperature that gives birth to life in the earth’s oceans. You know, in the depths of the ocean, you can’t receive sunlight, so the temperature of the sun has nothing to do with the deep sea.
Deep sea has a good temperature, mainly from the earth’s internal thermal energy. So life can be born deep in the ocean. The earth is like this, so are other planets like this? Scientists have discovered several moons of Jupiter and Saturn through exploration, and there may be subglacial oceans.
Jupiter is far away from the habitable zone. The surface temperature of the planet at this position is very low, so many planets here are frozen, and the surface is covered with thick ice. Among them, the most specific one is muwei. It is the sixth known moon of Jupiter and the fourth largest moon of Jupiter.
The composition of the moons is similar to that of earth like planets. They are mainly composed of silicate rocks and covered with a layer of ice up to 100 km thick. According to the observation of the detector, Europa has an internal energy source, that is, the surface is very cold, but the interior is very warm.
With an internal source of energy, there is probably a liquid ocean under the thick ice. And there may be life hidden in this ocean, and it may also be complex extraterrestrial life similar to the earth’s marine life. Europa is currently considered to be the most likely planet to give birth to life. It has heat sources, chemical energy, effective biochemical molecules and essential water.
These three elements are the necessary conditions for the formation of life. Only when these three elements are satisfied can life be born. Under the ice layer of Europa, the two conditions of chemical energy and water are met, and there are effective biochemical molecules. Scientists believe that Europa has been hit by some comets in the past hundred million years, and the severe impact has brought effective biochemical molecules to Europa.
These major discoveries make scientists have high expectations for the existence of life on Europa. Scientists also plan to explore Europa around 2030. Among them, the European Space Agency announced the launch of the “Jupiter ice satellite Explorer” program, and NASA also approved Europa’s fast sail project.
After landing on Europa in the future, the probe will use a special radar to scan the spectrum of the ice layer on the planet’s surface. Scientists on earth will analyze the specific information of the ice layer on Europa’s surface by analyzing the spectrum data they send back.
If we don’t have specific information, it’s very difficult to drill through the ice and enter the liquid ocean below. Of course, not all Europa’s ice layers are 100 kilometers thick. If so, it will be very difficult for us to enter the underwater ocean.
Fortunately, through astronomical telescope observation, scientists found that there is a huge natural fountain in the south of Europa, from which the water under the ice is ejected, just like a volcanic eruption. It can be seen that the ice layer here is relatively thin. If the detector wants to enter the underwater ocean in the future, it will probably choose this place as the breakthrough point.
If we can go deep into Europa’s underwater ocean in the future and find a large number of underwater marine life in it, then our exploration of extraterrestrial life will enter a new stage. At the same time, it also indicates that the planets with life in the solar system may be very large. We should know that there are many frozen planets in the solar system, especially in the marginal zone of the solar system.
If there is internal thermal energy in a planet, then there may be liquid water under the thick ice layer, and there may be marine life. Of course, this is the direction of life exploration before human beings have the ability to leave the solar system. Once human beings have the ability of preliminary interstellar navigation and can leave the solar system to explore other galaxies, then our main direction of looking for extraterrestrial life will be promoted to looking for extraterrestrial civilization.
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