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Best places in solar system most suitable for life

Best places in solar system most suitable for life What objects in the solar system could harbor life (photo: Unsplash)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The vast expanse of the solar system hides amazing corners that could become a haven for human life. Researchers are striving to uncover the secrets of these places, where a balance is maintained that could provide viable conditions.

Sources used: MIT Technology Review, and Popular Mechanics.


Mars, an Earth-like planet in the solar system, has a day of 24.5 hours. It has polar ice caps on its surface that expand and contract depending on the season. In addition, a large area of the planet was probably once covered with water, indicating the presence of an ocean in the past.

A few years ago, liquid water was detected under the South Polar Cap of Mars using radar on the Mars Express probe. In addition, the planet's atmosphere contains methane, the amount of which varies depending on the season and time of day. The source of this gas is still unknown, but it is likely to be of biological origin.

It is assumed that life on Mars could have existed in the past due to more favorable conditions. At present, the planet is dominated by a thin, dry atmosphere consisting mainly of carbon dioxide, and there is no magnetic field that does not protect it from solar radiation. However, living organisms can be preserved on Mars in underground lakes, although access to them is difficult.

Best places in solar system most suitable for life

Mars (photo: Wikimedia)


In 1610, Galileo Galilei discovered Europa along with three other large moons of Jupiter. It is slightly larger than the Moon and orbits the gas giant at a distance of about 670,000 km, completing a turn in 42.5 hours.

Europa undergoes periodic compression and stretching under the influence of the gravitational fields of Jupiter and other Galilean moons (Io, Ganymede, and Calypso), a phenomenon called tidal heating.

Almost the entire surface of Europe is covered with ice. Many scientists believe that under this frozen cover is a huge ocean that does not freeze due to tidal heating. Its depth reaches 100 km.

The existence of this ocean is confirmed by geysers breaking through cracks in the ice, the presence of a weak magnetic field, and irregularities in the ice relief, which are likely formed by underwater currents. The ice shield protects the underground ocean from extreme cold, space vacuum, and strong radiation from Jupiter.

Hydrothermal vents and underwater volcanoes may exist at the bottom of this ocean. On Earth, rich and diverse ecosystems are often found in similar conditions.

Best places in solar system most suitable for life

Europa (photo: Wikimedia)


Similar to Europa, Enceladus is an icy moon (this time of Saturn) that likely has a subglacial ocean. This celestial object attracted the attention of scientists as a potentially habitable world when geysers were discovered near its South Pole. Water from these fissures escapes into space through the weak gravitational field of Enceladus.

Not only water but also organic molecules and even microscopic particles of solid silicates have been found in geysers. They can exist only when water comes into contact with the rocky ocean floor at a temperature of at least 90 degrees Celsius.

This is a convincing confirmation of the existence of hydrothermal vents on Enceladus, which provide the necessary substances and heat for life.

Best places in solar system most suitable for lifeEnceladus (photo: Wikimedia)


Titan, the largest moon of Saturn and the only such celestial body in the solar system that has a relatively dense atmosphere. Its surface is hidden by dense clouds of complex organic molecules, and it receives precipitation - not from water, but from methane. The terrain is represented by dunes formed by the wind.

The main composition of Titan's atmosphere is nitrogen, an important chemical element necessary for the formation of proteins in all forms of life on Earth.

Radar studies have shown the presence of rivers and lakes of liquid methane and ethane on the planet, as well as the alleged presence of cryovolcanoes that emit a substance similar to water. This suggests the presence of liquid water reserves beneath Titan's surface, similar to Europa and Enceladus.

Titan is very cold (-180 degrees Celsius), but the abundance of complex chemical compounds suggests the presence of primitive life forms - although they are likely to be very different from known terrestrial organisms.

Best places in solar system most suitable for life

Titan (photo: Wikimedia)

Earlier we wrote that astronomers have clarified the location of the Ninth Planet.