I’m stuck on a Environmental Science question and need an explanation.
Forum Participation Guidelines: In approximately 150-200 words, please respond to the following questions. Refer back to the Syllabus for important reminders about forum discussion etiquette.
Week Three Discussion Forum: X-Files
1. Do you believe life exists in other regions of the Universe?
2. Explain your belief and support that perspective with scientific examples.
Peer Response 1
After some studies, I know life needs warm temperature, water and air, like what plants need. From Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in our solar system, the distance between earth and sun is good for not being too cold and hot. If the distance is too far, the vital compound stays locked up as ice. If the distance is too close, the water would rapidly evaporate into the atmosphere.I believe that only earth has life so far.
According to some scientists, one of the key variables for life is carbon dioxide. As we know from climate change studies, carbon dioxide is great at trapping heat in a planet’s atmosphere. When there’s enough of it, a planet can remain warm enough for liquid water., like our earth. But if there’s too little of this gas, a planet will freeze. Mars is a good example; its atmosphere is primarily composed of carbon dioxide, but the atmosphere itself is too thin to retain much heat. So now the planet is cold and dry. Venus is too hot for a life to survive. Jupiter is mostly made of hydrogen and helium, like Saturn, surrounding a dense core of rocks and ice, with most of its bulk likely made up of liquid metallic hydrogen, which creates a huge magnetic field. They are o life on them. However, comes when the basis of life on other planets is based around the basic human needs for life to be sustained. We might find something in the Universe in the future! We never know!
Peer Response 2
In order to figure out if life could exist elsewhere, I researched what chemicals and/or elements are needed to form and support life. In an article written by Natalie Wolchover published in LiveSCience.com, I found that living organisms are formed from six essential elements: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. And according to a NASA.gov article, “The Search for Life in the Universe’, 95% of the atoms in the human body are comprised from the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. This is true for all known life. There is one exception I uncovered in my research in Natalie Wolchover’s article, which is a recently discovered microbe in a California lake. This particular microbe is able to use arsenic atoms from the lake as a replacement for phosphorus when phosphorus is not available. There are many other requirements for life, such as the need for water, and being in the correct position in relation to the sun, neither too close nor too far. All of these requirements and the correct combinations of the elements are found in planet Earth. Scientists haven’t found this scenario in any other region in our Universe. At this point in scientific research, and according to NASA.gov Solar System Exploration page, no other planets are known to hold life. So, while it may be possible for small microbes to exist elsewhere, I do not think there is intelligent life in another region of our Universe.