Alien life in the solar system

  After 3.8 billion years of evolution, life on the planet is diverse and there are many species. However, even the simplest life on the planet still requires the environment. For example, they require water and organic materials (mainly carbon-based). And energy. Without any of these factors, they may not survive.
  For a long time, it was precisely the limitation of knowledge and thinking. It is believed that no planet in the solar system except the earth has no life, because no planet is similar to the earth. In addition, for the understanding of alien intelligent life, people tend to be more inclined to believe that they are some kind of humanoid creature, as described in the movie.
  With continuous exploration, we have learned more about the earth and other planets. The environment on the outer planet may seem mysterious and strange, but the same environment can be found on earth. According to biologists, similar organisms can evolve in similar environments, such as whales and sharks in the ocean. Although they are mammals and fish, they are similar in appearance. And can adapt to the marine environment.
  So, will other planets in the solar system be the same as life on Earth, such as Martians? In this regard, astrobiologists have put forward some points. On these issues, would you agree with them?
  Mars: radiation-resistant organisms
  on Mars is one of the most detailed study ever of our planet. For 20 years, NASA’s various probes have been operating on Mars without interruption, and we now know that the surface of Mars is extremely harsh and dangerous for life.
  Since Mars’ environment is so bad, we can imagine that Martians with humanoid shapes cannot exist, and even other ordinary creatures we know cannot survive on it. So astrobiologists changed their minds and thought that Mars life should be some kind of microorganism. So what kind of microorganism would it be?
  On the earth, there are some places where the environment is quite harsh, but there is still life. For example, in the cold and extremely high salinity environment of Antarctica, there is a halophilic archaea. The surface of these bacteria is covered with a layer of hydration film. Good resistance to high salt and dry environments.
  Halophilic archaea belong to “extreme microorganisms”. Extreme microorganisms are a general term for a group of microorganisms suitable for living in extreme environments. These microorganisms are not only resistant to cold, drought, and high salt, but also thrive under extreme conditions such as extreme heat, high pressure, strong radiation, oxygen-free, and heavy metals. growing up. Scientists have found that one of these bacteria, known as “radiotolerant coccus,” appears to be more special because of its extreme radiation resistance. Researchers have applied radiation equivalent to 1 million years of space travel to radiation-resistant abnormal cocci in a vacuum environment, and they still survive. They are also by far the most radiation-resistant organisms found on Earth. The reason why such microorganisms can survive in environments such as strong radiation and heavy metals is due to their efficient and accurate DNA repair systems.
  Since radiation-resistant anomalous cocci can live in harsh environments similar to those on Mars, it should also be able to live on Mars. So, if there is life on Mars, it may be radiation-resistant abnormal cocci.
  Of course, the radiation-resistant anomalous cocci is just one of the astronomers’ predictions of Martian life, and Mars life may also be a creature not found on Earth. No matter what kind of life, in order to survive on Mars, it must have the ability to adapt to strong radiation, drought resistance, anaerobic environment, and the ability to decompose iron and other minerals in rocks.
  Jupiter: The “city” floating in the wind.
  Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. This planet has no substantial surface. The closer it is to the center, the higher the pressure and the higher the temperature. Not only that, Jupiter is also blowing violent winds. . Jupiter is certainly not a planet suitable for any life form we know. If life does exist, they must be different from the life on Earth we are familiar with.
  The famous American astrophysicist and science fiction writer Carl Sagan described the creatures in the universe in a documentary. Among them, he said that he had done calculations with physicist Sarpit of Cornell University in the United States, and speculated that there might be a life form on Jupiter-a living “balloon”, which they called a “float”. Such creatures float in the air, feed on organic molecules in the atmosphere, or supplement energy through sunlight. In order to maintain buoyancy, they may achieve a balanced effect by pumping out gas from the body, and pumping out gas from the body. Probably also the way they control body temperature.
  So if we reach Jupiter, will we see a small, cute floating creature? In fact, they may not be the same as we think. They are not small and may not be cute. Because Jupiter has a strong wind, in order to withstand strong winds, these creatures have to evolve huge bodies. They may be larger than the largest whale on Earth, or even larger than a city. Therefore, we humans in Jupiter may find it difficult to find Jupiter creatures, because we often only see part of their bodies and may not realize that we are seeing a creature.
  Neptune: The antifreeze “big balloon”
  Neptune is one of the most famous planets in the solar system. It is the coldest planet in the solar system. It is the strongest wind in the solar system, and the surface may be covered with diamond oceans. It can be said that the life forms we know have no chance of survival here. But astrobiologists believe that life may exist in such an environment!
  So what would life be like for Neptune?
  As they are also gas giants, astrobiologists speculate that the creatures most likely to survive here are similar to the floaters on Jupiter. However, the temperature of Neptune is much lower than that of Jupiter, so Neptune floaters may also have the ability to prevent frost, which means that their bodies will not be as hydrated as we are. In view of Neptune’s conditions, astrobiologists speculate that there may be an amino life there, and in their bodies replacing water is a series of amine compounds, which are ammonia derivatives and natural antifreeze agents.
  In addition, the floaters must have sufficient buoyancy, and it is speculated that the buoyancy of Neptune floaters may be similar to that of Jupiter floaters. And the floaters on Neptune must be huge and extremely wind-resistant (don’t forget that Neptune has the strongest wind in the solar system), so that they can not easily drift away with the wind and absorb as much as possible. Precious sunlight.
  Although Neptune was discovered in 1846, only the American Voyager 2 probe has observed it up close so far. It can be said that we don’t know much about it. Perhaps life on Neptune is not a floater, but Something humans have never seen in the ocean of diamonds.
  Extreme microorganisms hiding in lava tubes
  Io is the closest moon to Jupiter, and volcanic activity is very frequent. Therefore, Io often “changs his face”-new lava constantly covers the surface, making its surface always look so young. Many people think that such a hellish planet must be a dead silence, but there is no possibility of life on Io, because there may be some safe havens on Io-lava tubes.
  A lava tube is a hollow, tubular structure formed immediately after the lava flow from a volcano has cooled. The reason that Io’s lava tube has life is because scientists found extreme thermophiles in the earth’s high-temperature lava tube. This is a type of high temperature resistant bacteria that can survive in high temperature environments above 90 ° C. The highest temperature resistance can even reach 250 ° C. These organisms can obtain energy from sulfur-based compounds.
  Due to the frequent occurrence of volcanoes on Io, there may be an environment similar to the earth’s lava tube. In fact, the lava tube may be a refuge for life. It can not only shield the microorganisms from external radiation, but also insulate and provide moisture. In addition, the lava tube can also provide sulfur-based compounds for these organisms. Metabolism, it can be said that lava tubes provide basic safety and livelihoods for these microorganisms. Not only Io, but scientists have also speculated that there might also be life in the lava tubes of the Moon and Mars.
  Of course, we still can’t confirm whether Io is living with some kind of extreme thermophiles, but in the search for extraterrestrial life, we cannot easily classify a planet as inanimate because its environment is too bad. Planet.
  Europa: Ocean walks of life under the ice
  of Europa attractive, not because it is the brightest satellite in the solar system, but scientists have discovered that beneath the frozen surface of Europa is likely to have a huge ocean in It is composed of liquid water, and there may be volcanoes that often erupt on the sea floor. Not only that, scientists have also found organic matter on the surface of Europa, which may be vital to the birth of life. In other words, Europa has the basic conditions we believe are necessary for life-water, organic matter and energy. Therefore, Europa is considered to be the most habitable place in the solar system besides the earth.
  The conditions are so “superior”, what kind of life would there be on Europa?
  In 2009, some scientists believed that Europa’s underground ocean is rich in oxygen, which is sufficient to support the existence of a variety of life forms, so they speculated that Europa’s oceans may be living like Earth fish. But astrobiologists are not so optimistic. They believe that Europa may be more suitable for marine bacteria to survive, or it may be something more complicated than bacteria. Although we are not sure what life is more complicated than bacteria, astrobiologists speculate that although their appearance may be different, they may be similar in nature to the slow-moving animals on Earth.
  Slow-moving animals are commonly known as “water bears.” Water bears are multi-cellular organisms and animals with a nervous system. Their native environment is watery, but they can inhabit a variety of environments, not only in our backyard, in high mountains and the sea above 6000 meters above sea level. They can also be found under 4,000 meters of trenches. This animal has tenacious vitality. On earth, scientists have done many experiments on this animal. Experiments have shown that water bears can still survive at temperatures of -270 ° C to 145 ° C; under the pressure of 6,000 times the atmospheric pressure They are still safe and sound; even under the X-ray radiation of 57,000 Roentgens (500 Roentgens can kill humans), they can survive; they can also be left intact during the atomic bomb explosion. In 2011, water bears were sent to space for extravehicular experiments. Eventually they became the first animals to survive in a vacuum environment conquered by frozen temperatures, strong radiation, and hypoxia.
  In view of the advantages of water bears, astrophysicists believe that the complex life capable of dealing with Europa’s deep-sea conditions may be similar to water bears. Even if they do not look like, at least they should have the same capabilities— — Resistant to compression and frost. Of course, what will life be on Europa, and we can only solve this mystery when we find them on Europa.
  dwelling in hydrothermal vents of life
  now, let’s go take a look at the surrounding Saturn, where astrobiologists can find a comparable and Europa satellite, it is Enceladus. What are the similarities between Enceladus and Europa? According to data returned by Cassini when it passed by Enceladus in 2005, scientists believe that Enceladus may have an under-ice ocean similar to Europa, and there may be many hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.
  What kind of life might exist in such an environment?
  Astrobiologists believe that Enceladus’s hydrothermal vents may have a prosperous world of life. A large amount of heat and mineral-rich substances are ejected to provide heat and food for life. There may be some bacteria there, and maybe some giant tubular worms. Astrobiologists speculate that giant tubular worms are in Enceladus’ oceans because deep-sea hydrothermal vents exist on Earth.
  Around the earth’s deep-sea hydrothermal vents, there is a tubular worm, a strange creature that had mouths and digestive systems during the larval period, but these organs disappeared when they grew up. During the larval period, some bacteria will enter their bodies from their mouths. These bacteria will not be digested, but will “live” in their bodies. After the tubular worms grow up, these symbiotic bacteria that live in them will play a vital role-feeding the tubular worms. Numerous tentacles on the top of the tubular worm’s body can absorb oxygen and sulfur ions in the surrounding environment, and these substances are processed by bacteria to convert them into energy. Adult tubular worms use this energy to survive. The advantage of this organism is that they do not need to eat actively, there is no excess metabolic process, and energy consumption is minimized, so they are more likely to survive in harsh environments.
  Based on this, astrobiologists believe that Enceladus’s ocean will not be a desert of life, where giant tubular worms or animals similar to giant tubular worms may live.
  Titan: Alien alien life
  on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, thick orange atmosphere make it look very mysterious. Human understanding of Titan basically comes from the Cassini Saturn probe and its Huygens probe. Based on observations and collected data, scientists speculate that Titan may have rivers and huge lakes. However, there may be no water on Titan, and its surface temperature is about -180 ° C. At this temperature, only methane and ethane can remain liquid, so the “water” on Titan may be liquid methane and ethane. . What kind of life is suitable for such an environment?
  Astrobiologists believe that life that can survive on Titan should subvert our common sense, they may be methane-based, oxygen-free life!
  The outer layer of our cell is wrapped with a thin film of phospholipid bilayer and protein molecules. Small molecules such as water and oxygen can pass freely. This film not only protects the cells, but also controls the entry and exit of cells.
  But life on Titan may be very different from ours. Astrobiologists speculate that Titan may be life with a “nitrosome” cell membrane. This is a new type of cell membrane proposed by scientists in 2015 that cannot be found on the earth. This cell membrane is composed of nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen molecules, not phospholipid molecules, and it exists in the cold ocean of Titan The molecules that make up the azoplasmic body. Life with such a cell membrane can remain stable and flexible at temperatures of -180 ° C, and without water and oxygen. And scientists believe that the most likely component of Titan’s life cells is an acrylonitrile nitrogen plastid. Acrylonitrile is a colorless, toxic liquid organic compound that is also found in Titan’s atmosphere.
  Although this is only a preliminary speculation, it subverts our general understanding of life. Life forms in the universe are far more abundant than we think.
  Although these are only hypotheses, and human beings have not found any alien life at present, in this field that requires pioneering thinking and imagination, even just imagination can help us solve the mystery of alien life.
  Further Reading
  Kepler -16b– plant growing black planet
  besides planets of the solar system, the Department of an important area to explore the outer planets astronomers, Department of Life on extrasolar planets may be more contrary to our expectations, such as Kepler -16b.
  Kepler-16b is a planet orbiting two stars. If you’ve seen the “Star Wars” series of movies, you will know that it is similar to the planet Tatooine, but because Kepler-16b is slightly larger and denser than Saturn, it may not have a rocky surface.
  If future research finds that Kepler-16b has an earth-like environment, it may have the most exotic plant we know-the black plant. This is because Kepler-16b’s stars are darker than the sun. To complete photosynthesis, the plants there use as much light as possible from the entire visible wavelength range, so they may be black.