In a previous post I wrote about how we discovered the age of the Earth, and I mentioned that our planet formed at the same time as the other rocky bodies in our Solar System.
I didn’t say HOW this happened though. So now I will.
Astrobiology don't you know… sort of
Heard of the Goldilocks zone?
It’s the idea that an area of space around a star will be at the right temperature for life to exist. Not too hot, not too cold, hence Goldilocks.
It’s a bit like standing around a campfire on a very cold night. Stand too far away and you freeze, stand too close and you catch on fire and burn to death.
It’s the same with planets orbiting stars too, if they’re too far away then water freezes and life can’t emerge, and if they orbit too close the planet is roasting hot and nothing can live.
It gets a bit more complex than this though, but complex in a fun way. Oh and its also got some pretty big implications for the search for extraterrestrial life…
In this series of posts I’ve looked at planetary bodies in our Solar System that could support life, from the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, to the cloud layers of Jupiter itself, to the ephemeral-once-jungles of Venus, I’ve even looked at Earth itself.
Now one of my favourites, Mars, the Red Planet.
I’ve previously mentioned concepts like the Solar System, galaxies and the Universe, but I’ve never properly explained what each of them actually is. I’m sure most people have a vague idea, but probably aren’t 100% sure.
Read on and I’ll explain what a solar system is. Pretty sure you already know? You may be surprised.
Then in future posts I’ll tackle what a galaxy and the Milky Way actually is, and then what the Universe is.
Actually, for the Universe I’ll try my best, but it turns out the Universe is probably a much weirder place than people previously thought.
Pluto used to be the ninth planet of our Solar System, but its not anymore. We only have 8 planets now.
Most of us know space is a big place, but few of us have an idea of just how big it really is. For instance, how feasible would it be for humans to travel right the way across our galaxy, and would we ever be able to reach other galaxies. In fact, what actually is a galaxy?
Kepler’s done it again; this time the space telescope has found 6 exoplanets orbiting a distant star called Kepler 11, but this mini-solar system is vastly different from ours, and may have implications for the search for alien life.