• Question: what planet would we most likely live on if earth was't here? :)

    Asked by maranna1997 to Sara, Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley on 21 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by rmcaneney950, natalie1998, kellyyellow7.
    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      That’s an interesting question. At the moment, without earth we’d be in trouble. There’s no where near enough energy to transport lots of people to another planet, and it would take hundreds of years to terraform another planet to make it livable without support from earth.

      Most attention has gone to terraforming Mars, but there are a couple of moons around Jupiter that might also be suitable. Europa is a decent bet.

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Hey people!

      There is no other planet in our solar system where we could live without major feats of engineering – those nearer the sun are too hot and those further away are too cold and no other planet has an atmosphere which we could breathe.

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi maranna, rmcaneney and natalie! Earth is in a very special place in our solar system – the habitability zone of our star the Sun. Habitable zones are defined by where the heat from the Sun is just right for liquid water. Just a little too close like Venus and your scorched, just a little too far and your a frozen rock like Mars. For this reason the habitable zone is sometimes called a “goldilocks” zone since conditions are just “right”. Earth is special in our solar system because it is in just the right spot. So if it weren’t here we’d be in real trouble.

      There is some speculation however that early Mars may have been warm and wet. Mars is actually just outside the habitable zone for the Sun. It is possible to compensate for the cooler temperatures with a greenhouse gas (which acts to heat the planet with a thick atmosphere). So maybe Mars – with an early Martian atmosphere could have been just right for life! Nowadays its not so nice, but if we were going to live anywhere else in the solar system it would still be Mars. It would just be really tough!! I for one am really glad for Earth. Its a nice comfy planet to live on =)