This is an image of ducks - lifeforms on Earth.
Click on image for full size
Perfect Vision Graphics
Life on other Planets
Life as we know it
on earth is carbon based and requires a certain environment to survive. Even so, there are creatures on earth which seem to be able to survive in harsh environments
, where the temperatures are very cold, or where there is little water or oxygen. It is environments like these which are similar to those found on other planets.
Sophisticated life forms are relative newcomers on Earth compared to bacteria and archaea. They arrived later because the Earth proved to be a healthy environment over a long period of time. Because the environment of other planets is more primitive, life on other planets (if it exists) may be primitive. If not, then life would have developed the ability to withstand otherworldly environments as well as finding material for food. We might have to imagine what such creatures would be like.
Primitive life forms may have an easier time in a harsh environment. All life will leave behind certain signs that it has been there. Scientists recently thought that they had found some of these signs on a Martian meteorite, but it turned out to be untrue. No concrete evidence of life anywhere other than life has been found.
Here we present a look an the environments of some places in the solar system; Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Io, Europa, Saturn, Titan, other moons, Uranus, Neptune, Triton, Pluto, comets, and interstellar space.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
"Science, Evolution, and Creationism
", by the National Academies, provides fascinating background on these topics for all, and is particularly useful for the Earth and space science classroom. Check our other books
in our online store
You might also be interested in:
There are many types of living things that are able to live in difficult environments on Earth. The picture to the left shows an example of some of these creatures. These are tubeworms that live at the...more
Most forms of life leave behind evidence that they are there. Plants help make oxygen and use up carbon dioxide. Some creatures help make nitrogen. People leave behind smog, television signals, and garbage....more
In July, 1996, it was announced that Dr. David McKay, along with a team of scientists at Johnson Space Center (a division of NASA), had discovered possible fossils of bacteria in a meteorite named ALH84...more
Jupiter's atmospheric environment is one of strong gravity, high pressure, strong winds, from 225 miles per hour to 1000 miles per hour, and cold temperatures of -270 degrees to +32 degrees (freezing temperature)....more
Saturn's atmospheric environment is one of strong gravity, high pressure, strong winds, from 225 miles per hour to 1000 miles per hour, and cold temperatures of -270 degrees to +80 degrees. With winds...more
Titan's atmosphere is a lot like the Earth's, except that it is very cold, from -330 degrees to -290 degrees! Like the Earth, there is a lot of Nitrogen and other complex molecules. There also may be an...more
Autotrophs are organisms that can "make their own food" from an inorganic source of carbon (carbon dioxide) given a source of energy. Most autotrophs use sunlight in the process of photosynthesis to make...more