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Is there Life on Other Planets

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Although there are currently no discovery of extraterrestrial life (life outside of Earth) on other planets, studies show that life may have previously and may currently exists on other planets.

To begin, as of right now the search for life still continues. According to a chemistry article, it states, “To date though, no evidence of life – ancient or otherwise – has been found (Nina, 2018).” To explain, as of right now no life has been found. The closest galaxy to the Milky Way galaxy is Andromeda, which is 2,538,000 light years away (Scudder, 2013).

Since there isn’t any vehicle, machine, or any rocket that can travel at the speed of light, there isn’t anyway, that we can get there (Scudder, 2013). Even if a vehicle would travel at the speed of light, then it would take over 2, 000, 000 years to get there (Scudder, 2013). That means, as far as we are concerned, traveling to other galaxies and exploring them is out of reach. The farthest object that was ever sent out by humans, is a little outside of our solar system (Rothstein, 2015).

Because right now no objects that humans have made have been out of our solar system, this limits to finding life through exploration to only our solar system (Rothstein, 2015). The farthest that any human have gone outside of Earth to the moon during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972 (Rothstein, 2015). Due to the fact that the farthest we had ever traveled is to the moon, that means we have never been able to explore other planets and this hinders our ability to find life (Rothstein, 2015). Telescopes have been used to observe other planets outside of our solar system, but these telescopes can only detect planets based on the shadows they cast (Seti, 2013).

They can’t take pictures, meaning that there is no way one can even examine the surface of planets to detect life (Seti, 2013). In other words, since we don’t have the technology needed to closely examine planets outside of our solar system, the possibility of finding life out there is significantly reduced (Seti, 2013).

To continue, now knowing that astronauts and scientist are limited to our solar system in the search for life, which planets are habitable? For Mercury, it is uninhabitable because it is either way too hot or cold to sustain life, reaching temperatures of 427 degrees celsius and as low as negative 180 degrees celsius (“Life on Mercury.” 2015). Additionally, it has no atmosphere that protects it from the harsh sun radiation, which has a detrimental effect on life and can prevent life from existing on its surfaces (“Life on Mercury.” 2015).

As for Venus, it contains 99 percent CO2, and because that carbon dioxide absorbs sunlight, the temperatures on Venus reach up to 600 degrees Celsius, making it far too hot to sustain life (UCSB Science Line, 2014). For the outer planets, gas giants don’t have any surfaces to even allow life to begin, let alone evolve (Trosper, 2014). This leaves Mars as really the only possibly habitable planet.

Not only is Mars only a few months away from Earth, making it reachable, it also has water (in the form of ice and water vapor) on its surface. None of the other planets meets these seems suitable for life (Seti, 2013). Close up images from a spacecraft, the US Mariner 4 and data collected by observation through a telescope showed that billions of years ago, Mars had the conditions to sust.....[read full text]

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The densities of each planet may indicate that they are rocky planets, but some of them may contain water (Faris, 2018). On August 2016, Proxima b, a rocky planet in another solar system was discovered. It has a little more mass than Earth and can sustain liquid water on its surface (Kettley, 2017). On February 17 of 2017, another solar system with 7 Earth-sized planets were found revolving around a star (Nina, 2018).

At least three of these planets were in an area where liquid water of be on their surface without evaporating or freezing (Nina, 2018). On October of 2017, Astronomers uncovered 20 new and potentially habitable planets (Kettley, 2017). One of these major discoveries (of the potentially habitable planets) include planet KOI-7923.01 (Kettley, 2017). KOI-7923.01 is a little smaller than Earth and take 395 days to orbit (Kettley, 2017).

It is a cold tundra and is warm enough to sustain water (Kettley, 2017). All these planets possible may contain life especially since they are all habitable, but with our current technology, no life have been found on these planets.

Observations from NASA’s Kepler space telescope shows that just about every star in the universe holds planets (Wall, 2015). Out of these planets, many of them are habitable (Wall, 2015). Scientists estimates a range of 50 billion to 800 billion planets that are in the habitable zone of just the Milky Way (Faris, 2018). Of that, about one percent or around (500 million to 8 billion) are estimated to be located in the habitable zone of their respective sun (Faris, 2018).

With so many possible habitable planets, that means there is a high potential for life to exists on all these planets and these planets are only within our galaxy (Faris, 2018). If we’re estimating the amount of habitable planets throughout the universe, then that number could rise to 50 sextillion (Kershner, 2018). Clearly, there are many, many planets out there that could be habitable and all this means is that there is a higher chance that life does exist on other planets.

However, inhabitable planets doesn’t necessarily contain life. Although planets may be habitable, it doesn’t mean there is actually life there. A chemistry world article states, “Mars (and other planets) being habitable, it turns out, doesn’t mean it actually has a habitat (Nina, 2018).” Planets may be habitable, but there may not be any life, but even if it is habitable, it doesn’t really have a specific area for that organisms to live there (Nina 2018).

In addition, throughout research, scientist may have found signs of life on mars. Over the past half century astronomers observed sight seasonal color variations on Mars which these variations coinciding with the availability of water, which have been interpreted as evidence for plant life (Sagan, 2015). This means that planet life could potential exists on Mars and all we need to do is search harder.

Another indication of life is a rock that came from Mars, which is known as, ALH8400 (“Life on Other Planets?”, 2002). Analysis of this these rocks shows that there may be fossilized bacteria on the meteorite (“Life on Other Planets?”, 2002). The simplest explanation of these fossils is that it Mars may have or currently inhabits bacteria (“Life on Oth.....

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At this temperature, the center of the cloud will form a star (Sagan, 2015). If the cloud is still moving at a decently fast pace, the star will separate into a star system or a group of stars (Sagan. 2015). With the formation of these stars, there are still large dust clouds that are rotating around the star (Sagan, 2015). In denser areas of the cloud, nearby matter is attracted and planets start to form in these denser regions (Sagan, 2015).

During the formation of planets, heavier elements sink to the center of the planet, leaving hydrogen and helium as the atmosphere surrounding the planet (Sagan, 2015). Some planets don’t have atmosphere since the star’s radiation pressure blows away this atmosphere (Sagan, 2015). Other times, planets are able to retain their atmosphere (Sagan, 2015). Since the planets formed consists of mostly hydrogen, it must also contain hydrogen compounds (Sagan, 2015).

The most abundant are hydrogen compounds of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen (Sagan, 2015). These hydrogen compounds include methane, CH4, ammonia, NH3, and water vapor, H20 (Sagan, 2015).

The basic elements in planets result in possible formation of life. The “six main elements associated with life on Earth (include): carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur and hydrogen (“Exoplanet Exploration: Planets Beyond Our Solar System: Life Signs.” 2017). When hydrogen, methane, ammonia, and water vapor; which are the elements and compounds that are noted earlier; are mixed together with supplied energy, organic compounds are produced (Sagan, 2015).

The compounds produced are usually amino acids, which are the main building blocks for proteins and nucleic acids (Sagan, 2015). Amino acids lead to the formation of purines and pyrimidines, which form into nucleic acids (Sagan, 2015). Fatty acids; which are made of two of the most common elements, carbon and hydrogen atoms; make up lipids (Carr, K.E., 2018; “Life on Other Planets?”, 2002).

Lipid membranes (layers of lipids) and DNA (formed by nucleic acids) combined to form the first cells (Carr, K.E., 2018). In simpler terms, natural elements could potentially form into nucleic acids and lipids, which become cells when they combine. Most and almost all chromosomes, genes, and enzymes, which are all important components of life, are also composed of nucleic acids and proteins (Sagan, 2015).

Everything that makes up life are made up from these common elements. A scientist known as Fox used naturally occurring elements and heat to create organic molecules that are essential to life (Sagan, 2015). In his experiment, all molecules produced were life based (Sagan, 2015). The temperatures he used to create these molecules could easily be supplied by radioactive heating of the crust of the .....

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Carr, K. E. “How Did the First Cells Form? Evolution and Biology – Quatr.us Study Guides.” Quatr.us Study Guides, 5 Apr. 2018, quatr.us/biology/first-cells-form-evolution-biology.htm.

“Exoplanet Exploration: Planets Beyond Our Solar System: Life Signs.” NASA, NASA, 24 Jan. 2017, exoplanets.nasa.gov/the-search-for-life/life-signs/.

Faris, J.C. “Life on Other Planets Is Possible with These 3 Main Requirements.” Daily News, 7 Feb. 2018,

Greicius, Tony. “Our Living Planet Shapes the Search for Life Beyond Earth.” NASA, NASA, 15 Nov. 2017,

Kershner, Kate. “How Many Planets in Our Universe Could Support Life?” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 8 Mar. 2018, science.howstuffworks.com/planets--universe-support-life.htm.

Kettley, Sebastian. “Are There Other Planets like Earth? Nasa Reveals Planets for Aliens and Human Life.” Express.co.uk, Express.co.uk, 7 Nov. 2017,

Khan, Amina. “The Search for Life on Other Planets Could Get a Boost from Biosignatures.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan. 2018,

Kramer, Miriam. “Found! First Earth-Size Planet That Could Support Life.” Space.com, Space.com, 17 Apr. 2014,

“Life on Mercury.” Universe Today, 25 Dec. 2015,

“Life on Other Planets?” Age and Origin of the Solar System, 31 Jan. 2002, Earthguide.ucsd.edu/virtualmuseum/litu/10_1.shtml.

“Lipids.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, 26 July 2015,

Nina. “Life on Other Planets.” Chemistry World, 19 Jan. 2018,

Rothstein, Dave. “What Is the Farthest in Space That We Have Gone? (Beginner).” Home - Curious About Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer, 22 June 2015, curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/150-people-in-astronomy/space-exploration-and-astronauts/general-questions/932-what-is-the-farthest-in-space-tha.....

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