This is a drawing of Pluto and its moon Charon.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL. This image is in the public domain.
It seems that the temperature on Earth (room temperature, so to speak) is just right for life. More importantly, chemical reactions take place at just the right speed in temperature ranges found on Earth. The speed at which chemical reactions take place is important to the formation and existence of life as we know it. If temperatures are freezing cold, reactions may take millions of years to take place, and that means it might be a long time before life can develop.
This is what makes Pluto an unsuitable place for life as we know it. The surface temperatures are 50 K (-400 F). It is even cold enough there for nitrogen to solidify on the surface. Soon, however NASA may send a probe to Pluto to explore the environment up close.
This is page 12 of 20
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!