It’s not mandatory to be the reincarnation of Tesla to ask yourself why humanity has never made contact with aliens if there is such a thing in the Universe. If extraterrestrial life forms capable of intelligence really exist, the distances between them and us might be way too much for any technology to handle. In other words, that could be precisely why we’ve never encountered any aliens yet: they’re simply too far away.
Scientists estimate that the observable Universe measures about 93 billion light-years in diameter. Such distances may be way too much to handle, even by a supposedly highly advanced technology that superintelligent extraterrestrial life forms may possess. This means that if aliens truly exist and if we truly have any chance of getting into contact with them, the ideal scenario is for them to have established a presence somewhere in our own Solar System. Given the unfathomable vastness of the Universe, that would mean right “next-door.”
Would such a wild scenario be possible? Let’s try to find out!
Mercury is the first planet from the Sun. It’s a rocky planet, but it’s scorching hot due to the fact that it’s too close to our star. During the day, temperatures on the surface of Mercury can reach 430 degrees Celsius. Therefore, that’s no place for life as we know it to exist, and dragons are just part of mythology as far as we know.
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, but surprisingly enough, it’s even hotter than the first planet, Mercury. Reaching surface temperatures of 464 degrees Celsius, it’s the hottest planet in our Solar System. It’s probably even hotter than the girl of your dreams. Furthermore, the atmospheric pressure on Venus is truly crushing, and the planet also has clouds made of sulphuric acid. In other words, this cannot be a home for any life forms.
Paradoxically enough, Venus is often called “Earth’s twin,” but only because of its similar size to our planet. Otherwise, the more you study Venus, the less you should doubt the existence of Hell.
Mars is the fourth and last solid planet in our Solar System, along with Mercury, Venus, and Earth. The surface of the Red Planet is dry and cold, and there’s also a thin atmosphere that cannot block ultraviolet radiation coming from space. It’s so cold on Mars that the temperatures reach all the way to -220 degrees Fahrenheit. All these characteristics indicate that life cannot possibly exist on Mars for long without a spacesuit. And as far as we know, there aren’t any cosmic spacesuits available for little green men with pointy years.
It’s time to speak about the fifth planet from the Solar System, Jupiter. Here, we have a planet that lacks a solid surface, as it’s made mostly of gases accumulated together because of gravity. That alone is a strong reason to conclude that aliens can’t possibly live on Jupiter. Furthermore, we’re talking about the largest planet in our Solar System, as over 100 planets the size of Earth would fit inside of it. This means that Jupiter also has a stronger gravity compared to the one on our planet, making it once again inhospitable to life as we know it. If you somehow were able to walk on the surface of Jupiter, you would weigh 2.4 times more. After all, Jupiter is made of gases, meaning it doesn’t have such a high density. Therefore, the gravity is still not very frightening.
Also, the temperatures and pressures that exist on Jupiter also make the planet a pretty inhospitable place for life.
Saturn is pretty similar to Jupiter, and it’s the sixth planet from our Sun. It’s also a so-called “gas giant,” meaning that it lacks a solid surface for ET to lay his green feet on. Saturn has a thick and turbulent atmosphere composed primarily of hydrogen and helium. The temperatures on this planet are extreme, dropping as low as -290 degrees Fahrenheit, which is equivalent to -179 degrees Celsius.
Such conditions are not suitable for sustaining any alien life, as not even microbes would be able to form.
Uranus is the next planet from the Sun, and it qualifies as an “ice giant” of our Solar System. The outer layers of the planet are composed of a mixture of water, methane, and ammonia. Even though there is methane in the atmosphere of Uranus, there are no suitable conditions for the emergence and development of extraterrestrial life.
Another strong argument that we couldn’t find any little green men looking at the stars from Uranus and wondering if they’re alone in the Universe is that this planet is surrounded by intense radiation belts. It’s well known that high radiation levels are capable of inducing damage and destruction to organic molecules. In other words, life can’t exist on Uranus either.
Neptune qualifies as the eighth and the farthest planet from our Sun, and it’s also the densest giant planet in our Solar System. Astronomers are pretty sure that Neptune also doesn’t qualify as a possible home for alien life.
Neptune features extreme pressures and temperatures and also high-speed winds. In other words, life as we know it wouldn’t be able to survive in such a place.
Let’s also not forget that there are high radiation levels on Neptune and that radiation can damage and destroy organic molecules. As a result, life can’t appear and survive.
How about the Solar System’s moons?
The best chance for alien life to still exist somewhere in our Solar System lies in the numerous moons that exist. Saturn has 83 discovered moons, meaning natural satellites that revolve around the planet, just as the Moon revolves around our planet. Jupiter comes second, with 80 discovered moons.
You got the idea: the Solar System is teeming with moons, and astronomers are conducting research to figure out if life can exist on any of those space objects. They believe that the odds are pretty well in favor of the idea of alien life existing on some of the numerous moons of our Solar System.
The presence of liquid water is probably the best indicator of a space object’s potential to host any life forms. Therefore, it is believed that moons such as Europa (one of the moons of Jupiter), Enceladus (one of Saturn’s moons), and Titan (another moon of Saturn) have at least theoretical chances for hosting alien life. Europa is believed to have a subsurface ocean beneath its icy crust, meaning that the possible presence of liquid water and the hypothesis of hydrothermal vents make the Moon a promising candidate for the search of astronomers for alien life.
Enceladus, on the other hand, contains geysers that eject water vapor directly into space. Organic molecules were detected in these plumes by the Cassini spacecraft, indicating that there is a possibility for cosmic chemistry.
Of course, ultimately, alien life doesn’t necessarily have to exist in the same conditions as complex life as we know it does. Life on other planets might rely on totally different conditions than we do, and we may never know for sure until humanity gets into contact with an alien species. However, that has never happened, but who knows, maybe it will someday. Maybe aliens live among us without us even knowing. If you personally know an alien, feel free to share the news with the world in the comment section!