Trappist-1 Explained: A New Solar System (+ Vital Facts)

Trappist-1: Fascinating Facts

This is about TRAPPIST-1. Attributes of these planets show the promise of water or even life. So if you want to learn all about TRAPPIST-1, then you’re in the right place. Let’s get started! TRAPPIST-1 Explained Simply put, seven Earth-like planets were discovered orbiting a nearby star. Incredible, right?  But, what about everyone’s major questions?  How far away is TRAPPIST-1?  Could there be water or even life in the new solar system?  Without further ado, here’s the TRAPPIST-1 explained: The Basics of TRAPPIST-1 Located in the constellation Aquarius lies a rather dim star, known simply as TRAPPIST-1.  The astronomy community ignited with the discovery of seven planets orbiting the star.  Furthermore, the size, distance, and other attributes of these planets show the promise of water or even life. In fact, at least three falls within the so-called habitable zone.  In other words, the appropriate distance from a star for water, and hopefully life to exist.  Also, based on distance from their star, planets are named: TRAPPIST-1 b  TRAPPIST-1 c TRAPPIST-1 d TRAPPIST-1 e TRAPPIST-1 f TRAPPIST-1 g TRAPPIST-1 h When searching for planets beyond our solar system, astronomers use one particular method.  Simply put, as planets orbit between their star and Earth, the star’s light briefly dims.  And, we use such light dips to observe the size, composition, and more. In fact, discoverer Michaël Gillon and colleagues utilized the trusty method. You can read the observations, originally published in the journal Nature. Finally, TRAPPIST-1 weighs in at only 8% of our Sun’s mass. So, not to mention, much cooler, dimmer, and redder, it produces dramatically less radiation. Is Their Liquid Water on TRAPPIST-1? First and foremost, mankind wants to know, “does TRAPPIST-1 host liquid water?”  In fact, we want to know if liquid water exists at all beyond planet Earth.  After all, after centuries of searching, we currently hold zero evidence. Indeed, TRAPPIST-1 hosts multiple planets in its habitable zone. And, within this zone, life’s primary ingredient can possibly exist.  However, several previously discovered planets also fall within this habitable zone. Yet, most are likely incredibly hostile environments, wildly unfit for water, let alone life.  After all, Venus technically falls within our Sun’s habitable zone. In case you need a reminder, Astronimate imagines living on Venus in this article.  So, could water exist on TRAPPIST-1? In short, we won’t know until further observation.  First of all, we must learn more about the planet’s conditions, surface temperatures, and more.  However, such learning falls well within our reach.  In fact, James Webb Space Telescope, launched in late 2018, may be the answer. Check out 10 James Webb Space Telescope facts for more information. The Distance to TRAPPIST-1 At last, here is where my realist personality arrives.  Much like possibilities of life, humans want to know, “how far away is TRAPPIST-1?”  After all, news and media outlets always include distance with exciting new finds.  Unfortunately, they are also ill-equipped to explain what such distances mean.  Furthermore, they can’t accurately explain cosmic distances in relation to mankind and our current abilities. Therefore, I will! Yes, TRAPPIST-1 is a “short” 40 light-years from Earth. However, in our vast universe’s scale, 40 light-years are truly nothing.  In fact, 40 light-years would be a mere millimeter to our universe. However, let’s break this down in human terms. One light-year is how far light, unobstructed, can travel in one Earth year. Furthermore, one light-year equals around 5.8 trillion miles. Now, let’s consider mankind’s fastest spacecraft to date, New Horizons, which travels at 36,000 mph. Indeed, that’s fast! Therefore, if we left today, traveling at our current 36,000 mph limit, we would reach TRAPPIST-1 in just under 746,000 years. In other words, in-person visitation is nowhere in our near future. But, hands-on observation does not currently fit our TRAPPIST-1 to-do list.  So, I simply like to mathematically point out what news agencies do not. The Conditions of TRAPPIST-1 Finally, we want to know what life would be like in the TRAPPIST-1 solar system. Surprisingly, all planets circling TRAPPIST-1 have orbits closer than Mercury to our own star.  However, TRAPPIST-1 is not all that much larger than the solar system king, Jupiter.  Plus, at 8% of the Sun’s mass, it only shines 0.05% as brightly.  Furthermore, most light from the star is in the form of infrared wavelengths, invisible to human eyes.  However, extremely cool red dwarf stars like TRAPPIST-1 live unimaginably long lives.  In fact, it’s believed that TRAPPIST-1 may burn for another 5 trillion years. In other words, a thousand times longer than our Sun. Initially, habitable-zone planets of TRAPPIST-1 seem too close, in danger of radiation blasts.  After all, inner-most TRAPPIST-1b orbits the star in 1.5 Earth days. In other words, a year on TRAPPIST-1b is 36 hours.  Plus, inner planets lie only fractions of the Earth-Sun distance from their star. So actually, like our Moon, inner planets may also be totally locked with TRAPPIST-1, meaning the same side always faces the star. However, depending on atmospheres and magnetic fields, planets this close may be able to withstand the star’s power. Not to mention, the longer lifespan of such stars and solar systems allows a much greater time for life to evolve on some planets. Could there be life on TRAPPIST-1? Next, we want to know, “could the TRAPPIST-1 solar system have life?” Unfortunately, planets TRAPPIST-1b through d are likely too warm to harbor liquid water.  As a result, human life is currently unlikely, as water is life’s key ingredient.  After all, while TRAPPIST-1 is far cooler, inner-most planets orbit at sub-Mercury distances, still much too hot. Next, TRAPPIST-1e falls in a zone in which liquid water and life could exist.  Most importantly, the planet would require the right atmosphere to help balance the star’s heat.  Especially since the planet still only orbits the star at 10 times the Moon-Earth distance. In other words, still super close! Not to mention, 1e is around 90% of Earth’s size and over half our mass. Then, we consider TRAPPIST-1f, still within the habitable zone. Weighing in at 60% Earth’s mass and 104% our size, planet …

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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot: Fascinating Facts.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot: Fascinating Facts

This is about the Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot shrinks, but there’s still plenty to learn from it. If you want to learn more about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s jump right in! Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Is Extremely Hot Due to its far distance from our Sun, gas giant Jupiter should rightfully yield drastically cooler temperatures.  But, a new study published in Nature shows that Jupiter’s Great Red Spot temperature is extremely hot.  In fact, they are hundreds of degrees hotter than anywhere else on the planet.  The mysterious storm, waging on for over 300 years, has puzzled astronomers for decades.  The recent findings hope to shed new light on this vexing weather phenomenon. The Search for Great Red Spot Temperature Causes Jupiter’s polar auroras generate strong electricity capable of heating the planet’s atmosphere.  However, scientists believe this generated heat should primarily stay confined to the upper and lower latitudes. Ultimately, with its rapid speeds, Jupiter’s atmosphere itself may be a culprit for elevated temperatures.  Specifically, the atmosphere surrounding the infamous Great Red Spot.  First, the storm swirls at astonishing speeds, whirling atmospheric gases around, creating gravity waves.  The waves continue upward, colliding hundreds of miles above the Jovian atmosphere, releasing tremendous energy when they crash. Observing Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Planetary scientist at Boston University, James O’Donoghue, led the study. O’Donoghue used the NASA 3-meter infrared telescope in Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Observatory to monitor above and around Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.  His findings indicated no other heat source in the area, leading him to conclusively believe the heat is coming from within or beneath the Red Spot. O’Donoghue was able to search for a specific molecule found in all gas giant planet’s atmospheres.  The molecule, H3+, can be examined and used as a tool for scientists to determine temperatures. This is how the team determined the temperature differences in the Great Red Spot and the rest of the planet. Unexpected Findings on Jupiter Ultimately, O’Donoghue also stumbled on more than simply temperature information in his study.  Suppose Jupiter’s heat is coming from below the Great Red Spot. In that case, this demonstrates that different levels of Jupiter’s atmosphere affect each other. No other previous study has generated evidence of this. Meanwhile, other recent studies have shown Jupiter’s Great Red Spot to be slowly decreasing in size. This poses a serious concern for O’Donoghue and other scientists. “I hope it doesn’t shrink too much so we can’t understand it before it goes, because that would be a shame,” says O’Donoghue. Given the longevity of the puzzling storm, it’s safe to say it will not likely disappear any time in the very near future.  As a key player in the formation of our solar system, Jupiter remains rather mysterious.  Yet, with the scientific attention, it is receiving this year, astronomers hope to unlock a wealth of answers and information.

How to Discover the Ninth Planet.

How to Discover Planet Nine?

This is how you find the ninth planet. NASA provides you with everything you need. So if you want to know how to find planet nine, then this article is for you. Let’s get going! How to Find the Ninth Planet On future job resumes, how would you like to list “discovered ninth planet?”  Besides, wouldn’t you feel wonderful knowing you’ve earned a place in scientific history?  Then, NASA has some very hopeful news for you!  Enlisting the public’s help, NASA wants you to hunt an undiscovered ninth planet.  Plus, you have an opportunity to discover other cosmic objects along the way.  Without further ado, this article shows you how to find planet nine in three steps! Planet Nine: A Brief Rundown First, here is a video NASA released, promoting the unprecedented contest: Through precise calculations, astronomers strongly believe a ninth planet lurks in our solar system.  First of all, aptly named Planet Nine maybe ten times Earth’s Mass.  Not to mention, it orbits 20 times farther out than Neptune in the Kuiper Belt. Actually, odd orbits of several small Kuiper Belt objects first hinted at the planet’s presence.  Plus, several objects orbit on the same plane, which is far different than the plane of our other eight planets. So, essentially, a large planet’s gravity could likely cause such effects. Finally, the chances of such effects simply happening based on luck is around 0.007%. In other words, Planet Nine is highly likely to actually exist.  Ok, how can you find Planet nine? #1 How to Find Planet Nine: Step One First, visit via computer or mobile devices.  Next, either register your account or sign in to your existing account.  Technically, accounts aren’t required but highly recommended.  After all, should you locate a new planet, you will want your name attached to it. Finally, click “Get Started” in the homepage’s center.  Now, you’ll walk through a simple and helpful tutorial covering how to use the site.  Overall, both signup and walkthrough should take no more than five minutes. #2 How to Find Planet Nine: Step Two At last, your hunt begins. Basically, hunters view very short videos, consisting of only four slides, called flipbooks.  Flipbooks contain Kuiper Belt surveys taken by NASA’s WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer). Each flipbook plays as a movie or viewed by individual still images. Simple, right?  However, Kuiper Belt objects lie billions of miles away. Also, WISE uses infrared vision based on heat. Therefore, images look quite different than normal human-friendly light. As a result, movies and images look something like this: #3 How to Find Planet Nine: Step Three Finally, you begin identifying potential planets. However, asteroids and other items may also be discovered. Simply put, hunters seek two objects, dipoles, and movers (examples below): Firstly, dipoles are slow-moving objects.  Next, movers typically zip across the frames.  Finally, spiky objects may also appear in frames. These are distant stars.  Basically, hunters are urged to ignore stars. Next, tap specific frame locations to log or identify potential objects. As a result, green crosshairs appear, marking the desired spot.  Also, hunters may move or delete crosshairs to perfectly align your finds. Importantly, true potential candidates should appear in at least three of four frames.  Therefore, you’ll identify an object in all frames in which it appears.  Finally, click “Done” to submit finds. You’ve Hunted, Now What? After hunting the skies to your heart’s content, what happens next?  Now, NASA begins reviewing contributions. Ultimately, should you discover something great, NASA contacts you. Plus, Planet Nine’s discover would certainly become global news. Therefore, your name will be included in resulting articles, news, and most other publications. In other words, you will become world-famous overnight. Finally, public-involved contests by NASA are both rare and groundbreaking. So, imagine the coverage that such an event would receive should it lead to a new planet.  Basically, a few mindless hours on your couch could place your picture in every science textbook for the next century. Not a bad deal.

How Do We Know the Earth is 4.6 Billion Years Old?

How Do We Know the Earth is 4.6 Billion Years Old?

This about the Earth’s age. The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. If you’re wondering how we know that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, the answer is right here. Let’s dig in! How Old Is the Earth? Currently, scientists are quite confident in dating planet Earth at 4.6 billion years old.  However, that is not to say we have not seen our share of shocking revelations on otherwise “bullet-proof” theories in past centuries (*cough* Earth-centered universe. (*cough, cough* expanding universe!).  But how do we know the Earth is 4.6 billion years old? Over the past centuries, human beings have thrown several guesses at Earth’s age.  In fact, many ancient cultures simply assumed the Earth began when we did (as far as they knew, at least).  For instance, the Romans assumed that Earth was born at the time of the Trojan War. Like many long-term scientific theories, ideas change, people get embarrassed, new thoughts are born.  Indeed, we humans have often taken rather arrogant approaches to our reasoning over the years.  Only to find out we were wrong––and possibly a bit self-centered. Enter the Science-Art of Dating Planets First of all, if we want to know how old something is, we start by finding the oldest piece.  Similarly, we begin by finding the oldest possible pieces of our planet to test to date Earth. Fortunately, understanding how to find old pieces of Earth is rather straightforward.  Unfortunately, actually getting to these pieces is another story.  After all, by way of plate tectonics, Earth itself is trying to remain age-anonymous by recycling materials over time.  Yet, small portions of these ancient materials do survive and exist today. Radiocarbon to the Rescue Now, we have found materials we think could be old. So how do we test them? Most of us are familiar with the term carbon-dating between movies, books, and high school science class.  Basically, carbon (the element of all things living) predictably decays over time.  Using these decay timeframes, we can tell, with great accuracy, how old something is. But, we can also use other decaying elements to learn a material’s age (Uranium-lead, Samarium-neodymium, Rubidium, etc.). Each of these elements decays reliably over time.  As a result, we can understand, rather precisely, how long ago something was alive. Therefore, also understanding just how old it is currently. The Old Australian Zircon You may be asking yourself, “what is the oldest material we have found on Earth?”  After all, we need this information to learn about Earth’s age, right? To date, a small piece of zircon, found in Australia, is the oldest known rock on Earth.  Based on heavy testing, this zircon tells us that Earth is at least 4.374 billion years old, give or take a few hundred million years. “Give or take a few hundred million?!”  Indeed, in junior high math class, a margin of this size would have certainly earned you an F. However, in cosmic terms, a few hundred million years is like an hour or two.

Living On Venus (What Would Life Be on Venus?).

Living On Venus (What Would Life Be on Venus?)

This is about how it would be to live on the planet Venus. How about the Sun only rises once every 177 Earth days? So if you want to know how life on Venus might be, this article is for you. Let’s jump right in! What Would It Be Like To Live on Venus? As the hottest planet in our solar system, full of dangerous and extreme environments, Venus is not a place that any Human would ever want to visit.  But, for now, let’s look past the dangers and assume that we are equipped with the necessary technology to travel to our twin neighbor planet.  What would it be like to live on Venus?  Let’s find out! Venus – Quick Facts Distance from Sun: 67 million miles Text Message to Earth: Takes about 6 min. Mass: 80% of Earth Width: 95% of Earth Gravity: 90% of Earth Length of Day: 5,832 hours (243 x 1 Earth Day) Length of Year: 224 days (61% of 1 Earth year) Average Temp: 867º F Pressure: 92 x Earth Moons: 0 Rings: No Your Typical Day on Venus When you arrive on Venus, you’ll want to get an excellent night’s sleep.  Your new planet’s day lasts just under 6,000 hours.  If you got your full eight hours of sleep, you would wake up only 0.1% of the way through the same day you went to sleep on.  If you are hoping to catch a Venusian sunrise, you will need to plan very carefully.  On this new planet, the Sun only rises once every 177 Earth days.  In other words, you will only see two sunrises during your entire year.  If you miss the sunrise, do not worry, your new atmosphere will all but cancel the Sun out anyways (explained below).  You will notice instantly that your new home is rotating in the opposite direction of most other planets. We call this retrograde rotation.  The Sun now rises in the West and sets in the East; that will take some time getting used to. As you explore your new home, you will see that the majority of the terrain consists of vast, smooth plains.  But, if you roam around enough, you could stumble across massive active volcanoes, so be cautious.  Your eyes will need to adjust to your daytime sky, which is now a red-orange color.  Again, this is due to your extremely thick atmosphere that is explained in your weather forecast below.  Your atmosphere is so dense that you feel a strong resistance like being underwater as you move your arms and legs.  Speaking of underwater, the Venusian air pressure is 92 times that of Earth, which would feel like being over half a mile deep in an ocean. Your Typical Night on Venus If you are a star-gazer, you may be quite disappointed in your new planet.  Because of your hazy skies, your new night sky appears completely black.  Even on a “clear” Venusian night, you could not see a single star if you tried.  Not to mention, you have no Moons to call your own. This will feel rather ironic since Venus is always one of the brightest objects in the Earth’s night and morning skies.  Congratulations, you officially have a very lifeless night sky now. Your Typical Year on Venus: Your new calendar year lasts for 224 Earth days, not all too different from your previous planet.  However, this officially makes your Venus day slightly longer than your Venus year, so take extra precautions when adding events to your calendar.  If you were 50 years old when you left Earth, you are now 82 years old on Venus.  So, you may need to text your friends and family to tell them that your birthday has officially changed.  If they don’t reply quickly, don’t be sad, it can now take up to 15 minutes for your text message or email to reach planet Earth.  This is because you are now on the other side of the Sun and 162 million miles from your former home.  On the plus side, your new gravity is similar to Earth, so your jump, your weight, and your ability to lift things will stay almost identical. Your Local Weather Forecast Spoiler alert: You now live on the hottest planet in the solar system.  This is partially because you are rather close to the Sun, at 67 million miles.  Though, it’s mainly due to your new atmosphere. Your planet is covered in extremely thick, dense clouds of carbon dioxide.  This gas, as we know it on Earth, causes a Greenhouse Effect.  The heat from the nearby Sun enters your planet, but the carbon dioxide keeps it trapped.  Essentially, your forecast always calls for heat. A constant average of 870º Fahrenheit, to be exact.  In other words, your new planet is constantly hot enough to melt lead. Since you do have an atmosphere, you can, and often do, have severe rainstorms.  The problem is that your high temperatures melt all raindrops before they can even hit the ground.  Even on a storm-free day, your thick, hazy atmosphere makes the Sun a blurred-out, pale dot behind heavy cloud cover.  Your daytime skies are forever red-orange colored from the way that your atmosphere’s carbon dioxide scatters incoming sunlight. For Sale! If bone-dry and scorching climates, starless night skies, volcanic terrains, and absurdly long days are what you’re in the market for, move to Venus.  You’ll never need an umbrella, and you can always rest assured your forecast will be somewhere in the 800’s.  Since Humans struggle with the heat during hot Earth summer days, you may want to do a little more thinking before signing your new lease. See What Life Would Be Like on Another Plant Jupiter Mars Mercury Moon Neptune Saturn Sun Uranus

Living On Uranus (What Would Life Be on Uranus?).

Living On Uranus (What Would Life Be on Uranus?)

This is about how it would be to live on the planet Uranus. How about storms of shimmering diamonds rain down on your house? So if you want to know how life on Uranus might be, this article is for you. Let’s get right into it! What Would It Be Like To Live on Uranus? So, you have selected Uranus as your new home?  Well, before you pack up and voyage to the planet, there are many essential things you need to know.  While the inner planets are fiery worlds of molten rock, the outer planets are cold and desolate places.  Mysterious and gigantic, Uranus sits far from the Sun as a frozen ball of deadly gases.  Of course, living in such environments would require tremendously advanced technology.  But, let’s put that thought aside, blast off to the outer solar system, and find out what living on Uranus would be like. Let’s get started! Uranus – Quick Facts Distance from Sun: 1.8 billion miles Text Message to Earth: Takes about 2.7 hrs. Mass: 15 x Earth Width: 4 x Earth Gravity: 90% of Earth Length of Day: 17 hours (46% of 1 Earth Day) Length of Year: 30,687 days (84 x 1 Earth year) Average Temperature: -320º F Pressure: Unknown Moons: 27 known Rings: Yes Scouting Your New Neighborhood Similar to the other gas giants we have explored so far, Uranus has no solid surface.  Instead, ammonia, methane, and water ices comprise most of Uranus.  Plus, the planet’s surface layers are extremely frigid.  Internal temperatures on Uranus can rocket to a brutal 8,500º F. Therefore, living on Uranus will be limited to the outer cloud top layers.  Living in the outer cloud layers in a protective bubble-like home will work best.  Saturn and Jupiter both received this same advice. Your Typical Day on Uranus Entirely flipped on its side, Uranus sits at a near-90º tilt.  Only once you observed other planets would you notice this awkward shift.  Studied for decades, the cause of your new planet’s tilt is still a mystery.  Scientists believe it is the result of a massive cosmic collision.  Plus, Moons form after planets form. We know this now.  So, your Moons orbiting on the same tilted plane tells us the collision occurred during the early solar system when your planet was forming. Next, the moment you arrive on the third biggest planet, you immediately notice the temperature.  Maintaining a constant chilling -320º F, the sub-arctic climate on Uranus is hard to ignore. The further a planet is from the Sun, the colder its temperatures.  Yet, Uranus is colder than the more distant neighbor, Neptune. How can this be?  Crediting icy temperatures to unknown internal processes, your new planet is the coldest in the solar system.  So, putting on the best parka money can buy, you decide to head out and explore. Similar to Earth, your new day lasts for 17 hours, not too shabby. Plus, to your surprise, you notice blue skies, just like home sweet home. Yet, blue skies on Uranus differ dramatically from Earth.  Deadly abundances of methane gas are now the cause of your world’s blue skies. To your dismay, your new home appears bleak and desolate.  Venturing out to explore, vacant, smooth, blue horizons surround you as far as the eye can see.  Living on Uranus is not conducive to sightseeing.  However, at 100,000 miles around, your home is the third largest planet and much too big to explore anyhow. Your Typical Night on Uranus Living on Uranus does have its perks, despite the barren landscape. Peering through the gaseous haze, you become awe-inspired by 27 Moons.  Small and irregularly shaped, your collection of Moons are much different than your previous Earth-Moon. Yet, they dance around your planet like mesmerizing ice sculptures. Surprisingly, your new world has a ring system. Faint and elegant, Uranus is surrounded by 13 beautiful rings. Boulder-sized clumps of dust comprise Uranus’ rings, unlike Saturn’s bright ice pebble rings.  Yet, appearing faint deep blue, and red, your new rings are simply stunning. Finally, Earth is observable from your new home, should you become homesick.  Of course, viewing your former home requires a powerful telescope.  Appearing as a pale dot, you gaze beyond the methane atmosphere at your prior homeland.  Now, temperatures become simply too much, and you head inside for the evening. Your Typical Year on Uranus Opposite of your short days, living on Uranus brings 31,000-day-long years. In other words, your new year lasts for 84 Earth years. Not to mention, your extreme tilt creates enduring, long seasons.  In fact, only two seasons occur on Uranus, summer, and winter. First, extreme tilting causes your north pole to face the Sun for half of your year.  In other words, summer drags on slowly, seeing the Sun creep across the sky for 42 years.  Finally, skipping what would have been your NFL season, winter instantly sets in. But, unlike Earth’s winter, Uranus now sits in total darkness for 42 years.  Hope you do not like football, autumn leaves, or warm days. Gravity hardly changes living on Uranus. Actually, jumping, lifting, and body weight are slightly more favorable, if anything. Plus, in your terribly long year, your first birthday has not yet occurred. Your friends will be feeding you a birthday cake with a single candle in your highchair in no time. But, when birthday party invitees are no-shows, don’t hold it against them. After all, their cancellation text messages take nearly three hours to arrive. Your Local Weather Forecast Weather forecasts living on Uranus are predictable and bleak.  Cold, dark, and windy, that’s about it. Blowing at a speedy 560 miles per hour, gusts of wind are sure to knock you down.  Heavy boots of iron could do the trick. Between day and night, temperatures remain a constant -320º.  Nearly 2 billion from the Sun, very little light hits your home, even during the 42 year summers.  Murky methane and ammonia atmospheres certainly do not help this. Precipitation does occur since you still have an atmosphere, but much differently.  Methane in your world chemically changes to carbon. Under your planet’s extreme pressures, …

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Living On Saturn (What Would Life Be on Saturn?).

Living On Saturn (What Would Life Be on Saturn?)

Here’s how it would be to live on the planet Saturn: Simply because Saturn doesn’t have solid surfaces, you couldn’t live on it like that. However, ensuring that you have the tech you will need to live on Saturn isn’t as glam as it sounds with lightning storms and a 50% chance of diamond rain. So if you want to know how life on Saturn might be, this article is for you. Let’s get right into it! What Would It Be Like To Live on Saturn? So, you are thinking of living on Saturn?  You have decided to inhabit the most famous planet in our solar system, Saturn.  Recognized by people of all ages for its magnificent ring system, Saturn is one of the four gas giants of the outer solar system. However, living on Saturn is not as glitzy and glamorous as it may seem.  Rather, it is a frigid world full of surprise and betrayal.  And, like the other gaseous planets, you technically could not live on Saturn simply because it has no solid surfaces.  But, let’s put that idea aside, assume that we are equipped with technologies needed to survive, and inspect your new home. Saturn – Quick Facts Distance from Sun: 887 million miles Text Message to Earth: Takes about 1.4 hrs. Mass: 95 x Earth Width: 9 x Earth Gravity: 92% of Earth Length of Day: 11 hours (46% of 1 Earth Day) Length of Year: 10,756 days (29 x 1 Earth year) Average Temperature: -288º F Pressure: Unknown Moons: 62 known Rings: Yes Scouting Your New Neighborhood Much like our article about living on Jupiter, selecting where you will actually be living on Saturn will be crucial.  Given the radically different conditions, depending on where you are, things could get a bit unpleasant. Living On the Inside of Saturn If you are a warm-weather person or looking for a balmy place to retire, you could build your home in Saturn’s interior.  However, be forewarned that temperatures are likely able to soar as high as 21,000º Fahrenheit.  Even though Saturn is a frozen world, sitting 887 million miles from the Sun, its core is scorching hot.  In fact, Saturn spits out double to heat it takes in from the Sun. Living Near the Surface Instead, it will be much more appealing to live on the outer regions of Saturn.  Using proper technology, you will want to have a well-protected dome structure that can float in the ringed planet’s upper atmosphere.  Up here, atmospheric pressure can drop to quasi-Earth-like levels and prove much more ideal. Although, ideal may not be the most fitting term, as your atmosphere is now made mostly of ammonia ice.  Now that you have selected a location let’s review your new routine. Your Typical Day on Saturn You will quickly notice living on Saturn. Your days only last for 11 hours or 45% of your typical Earth day.  So, on the bright side, two-day shipping on Saturn’s version of Amazon would technically be completed within a single Earth day. Now, it’s time to explore. And, you definitely have a planet full of visual wonders to enjoy.  Your location and planning are highly important when sightseeing on Saturn, simply because of the sheer size.  Your new home is nearly 240,000 miles around and almost 75,000 miles wide. So, traveling at highway speeds from the south to north pole would take a little over 1,100 hours. But, if you can make it northward, you can witness the stunning auroras.  The mind-blowing light shows will remind you of Earth’s, except that Saturn’s auroras are actually bigger than the entire planet Earth itself. Plus, your new planet has a mysterious but fascinating hexagon shape on its north pole.  And, this polar attraction has been a beautifully puzzling mystery to astronomers for decades. However, it is widely believed to be the cause of powerful jet winds interacting with each other. Your Typical Night on Saturn Although your night is now much shorter than your day, you are in for some spectacular treats.  If you enjoyed the gleaming silver Moon on Earth, how would you like 62 Moons?  In fact, you now get to enjoy the second-largest Moon in the solar system, Titan.  At half the size of Earth, this massive satellite is the only Moon known to contain clouds and a planet-like atmosphere (summer vacation spot?). Plus, if you remembered to bring your telescope along, you now have constant access to truly dark skies, optimal for observing.  Taking up amateur astronomy while living on distant Saturn may help cure your inevitable loneliness.  For instance, here is actual audio recorded by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft in 2003, while orbiting your lonely planet: Viewing Saturn’s Infamous Rings Now, it’s time for the main attraction. The primary reason you moved to the sixth planet from the Sun, it’s rings. The multiple rings are composed almost entirely of water ice chunks. And, these ice chunks can be the size of sand grains to as big as a typical building.  Astonishingly, the rings stretch out for 240,000 miles but are only around 30 feet thick.  In other words, if the rings were scaled down to the size of a piece of standard paper, the paper would be 10,000 times thicker than the rings.  A terrific and more thorough explanation of this scenario can be found on Phil Plait’s blog. There are several theories as to how your planet’s flagship landmark came to be.  Some think a series of asteroid collisions with Saturn’s Moons caused leftover debris to be trapped in orbit.  Others think it may be leftover debris from the original formation of our solar system’s planets over four billion years ago.  Regardless, if you see one attraction in your first year on Saturn, make it the rings. Your Typical Year on Saturn Despite your short days and nights, your new year is much longer now.  Because of its far-out orbit, a single year on Saturn lasts for nearly 10,800 Earth days.  A single one of your new years is the same as 29 years on your previous planet.  In other words, if you left Earth at 40 …

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Living On Neptune (What Would Life Be on Neptune?).

Living On Neptune (What Would Life Be on Neptune?)

This is about how it would be to live on the planet Neptune. How about bone-breaking winds? So if you want to know how life on Neptune might be, this article is for you. Let’s get right into it! What Would It Be Like To Live on Neptune? First predicted in 1781 by using only math, Neptune is a distant ice giant.  Earning its name from the Roman god of the sea for its deep blue color, Neptune lies 2.7 billion miles away.  Plus, upon Pluto’s planetary demotion in 2006, Neptune is our solar system’s most distant planet. But, what would it be like living on Neptune? Similar to most planets, Neptune is a volatile world with no solid surfaces.  Besides, the desolate planet is no place for human life.  However, let’s use our imagination and pretend that we have the tools needed to inhabit Neptune. Neptune – Quick Facts Distance from Sun: 2.8 billion miles Text Message to Earth: Takes about 4.3 hrs. Mass: 17 x Earth Width: 3.9 x Earth Gravity: 110% of Earth Length of Day: 16 hours (67% of 1 Earth Day) Length of Year: 60,190 days (165 x 1 Earth year) Average Temperature: -330º F Pressure: Unknown Moons: 14 known  Rings: Yes Scouting Your New Neighborhood Now, similar to living on other planets in the outer solar system, your new planet has no solid surface. Therefore, living on Neptune will require constructing a bubble-like dome in the upper atmosphere.  But, the dome will require tremendous strength to shelter you from deadly winds. Wind and Chills encompass all Neptune regions.  But, the northern parts are slightly more favorable. Our only close encounter with Neptune happened with Voyager 2 in 1989.  Despite the few missions, data indicates the southern region is home to the most extreme weather. Finally, living on Neptune will require advanced water technology systems.  Frigid temperatures and sparse Sun energy mean most substances, including water, are frozen.  Now, it is believed that liquid water may exist far below Neptune’s surface. However, the likely deadly pressures are well worth avoiding. Your Typical Day on Neptune Now, during your newly-shortened day, you venture out to explore.  At 97,000 miles around, Neptune is not easily explored in a single day. Not to mention, your planet is mostly wild winds and deadly storms.  Not necessarily a sight-seeing dream world. Yet, living on Neptune does have one infamous landmark.  Technically, your new home’s day is only 16 hours and 6 minutes. Not so bad, right?  However, not having solid surfaces means different parts of your planet rotate at varying speeds.  Visiting central regions introduces 18-hour days. On the bright side, your new typical workday is five hours.  In other words, the “nine-to-two” grind is now your daily routine. Journeying into the southern parts, you encounter the Great Dark Spot.  First discovered by Voyager 2, the Dark Spot is a gigantic storm, big enough to fit your previous home planet, Earth.  But, with recorded wind speeds of 1,500 miles per hour, you keep a safe distance. Approaching dinner time, you decide to return home. Although, with nearly zero sunlight, your days and nights are both permanently pitch black. Your Typical Night on Neptune Surprisingly, your sky shows six rings.  Made of dark, dusty materials, your rings remained unseen until the 1980s. Paling in comparison to Saturn’s beautiful ring system, you are still in utter awe.  Plus, astronomers believe your rings will be rather temporary. So, your move has happened at a special time. Now, after enjoying the rings, your telescope turns to your 14 known moons, including Triton, your largest moon.  Triton spins in the opposite direction of its planet and is the only large moon to do so.  Ultimately, captured by Neptune, Triton once wandered aimlessly through the solar system. Deemed one of the coldest places in the solar system, Triton’s surface is -391º Fahrenheit.  Also, one of the few currently geologically active moons, Triton has volcanos.  Yet, observing the volcanos from a safe distance, you instantly notice that they are unusual.  Shimmering geysers of nitrogen and ammonia gas burst five miles into the sky. Finally, you enjoy a spectacular view of neighboring planets. As opposed to Earth, the previously hard-to-see planets are now your night sky staples.  Though still distant, Uranus becomes slightly more visible, especially under such clear, dark skies.  Even the tiny former planet, Pluto, is in play. Now, only a few hundred million miles away, Pluto is similar to Earth to Jupiter.  Pluto’s micro size still proves difficult to see. Yet, much easier than your formerly 4.6 billion mile feat. Your Typical Year on Neptune Living on Neptune, your new calendar year will be a massive change.  One single year on your new planet is more than 60,000 Earth-days-long.  Actually, in 2011 your planet completed only its first orbit since its discovery in 1846.  Basically, if you left Earth upon retiring at 65-years-old, you are now less than one year old (queue Frank Sinatra’s “You Make Me Feel So Young”).  In fact, your first birthday party will not occur for another 24,000 days.  So, keep in mind that your Dora the Explorer-themed party may seem rather foolish and outdated by then. However, you now move quite sluggishly, even for a toddler. Living on Neptune means 10% more gravity than Earth.  Bodyweight, running speeds, and weight lifting abilities are now working against you.  But, hey, you now have 165 Earth-years to work on meeting your New Year’s resolution. Your Local Weather Forecast Does Northface or Patagonia have any sales?  You should check, simply because your new planet is an absolute Popsicle.  Living on Neptune brings constant temperatures below -300º F.  Being billions of miles away from the sun means little-to-no light or heat.  Plus, any “heat” you do enjoy comes from processes in your new world’s interior. And, that ain’t much. Yet, believe it or not, the cold is not your worst enemy. Clocking the fastest winds in the solar system, Neptune is our cosmic Chicago.  Wind speeds on Neptune can …

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Living On Mars (What Would Life Be on Mars?).

Living On Mars (What Would Life Be on Mars?)

This is about how it would be to live on the planet Mars. How about you’re only half your Earth age? So if you want to know how life on Mars might be, this article is for you. Let’s jump right in! What Would It Be Like To Live on Mars? We have fictionally spoken and written about sending Humans to our small neighbor, Mars, for many years.  We have NASA’s Mars Rover permanently on the planet, allowing us to remotely explore and see Mars videos.  Now, we even have genuine plans to send humans to the red planet within a decade.  But have you ever stopped to truly think about what life would be like on Mars?  Let’s assume all necessary technology and equipment is currently available, and let’s find out! Mars – Quick Facts Distance from Sun: 142 million miles Text Message to Earth: Takes about 13 min. Mass: 11% of Earth Width: 50% of Earth Gravity: 38% of Earth Length of Day: 25 hours (1.04 x 1 Earth Day) Length of Year: 687 days (1.88 x 1 Earth year) Average Temperature: -85º F Pressure: 1% of Earth Moons: 2 Rings: No Your Typical Day on Mars Your mornings and days on Mars would feel somewhat familiar to those on Earth.  Your Sun would rise and set quite similarly to Earth in that the day is only one hour longer at 25 hours.  However, as you explore your new home, you see a much different environment.  Mars is infamously red because of rusting iron throughout its dusty surface.  This dust also creates an orange-colored, hazy sky that blurs the Sun and causes its surrounding areas to appear slightly blue in color. To help your homesickness, Mars has what could easily be its own national parks. For instance, Olympus Mons, which is the largest known volcano in our solar system.  Towering at a breath-taking 88 thousand feet, this giant is three times as high as Mount Everest.  Plan your trip to Olympus carefully, as many astronomers believe it may still be active. If you never got to see the Grand Canyon on Earth, never fear.  You can plan a trip to visit Valles Mariners. This vast system of valleys spans as far as the continental United States.  Its valleys can reach almost five miles deep. That’s nearly six times as long and five times deeper than Earth’s Grand Canyon. Your Typical Night on Mars Unlike life on Mercury or Venus, your night sky would be full of action.  You would instantly notice a canvas of thousands of shining stars from end to end.  Since your new nights are almost the same length as Earth, you would feel comfortable knowing that you could fall asleep and wake up to a new day. Unlike the inner-most three planets (Mercury, Venus, and Earth), you have not one but two Moons, named Phobos and Deimos.  Named after the horses that pulled the Roman god of war, Ares’ chariot, Phobos means “fear,” and Deimos means “panic.”  But, despite their names, there’s no need to be alarmed.  Even from your new planet, your Moons will appear very small and underwhelming in the night sky.  Phobos is 14 miles wide, and smaller Deimos is only 8 miles wide.  Occasionally, both Moons will rise together in the night sky. You will definitely want to pack your telescope. That will be quite a sight to see. Your Typical Year on Mars Your new calendar year, despite its extreme dangers, has some silver linings. It is nearly twice as long as an Earth year, but with that comes seasons that are twice as long, too.  Because your planet is slightly tilted on its axis, like Earth, you will experience all four seasons.  Your new Spring lasts seven months, your Summer six months, your Autumn 5 months, and Winter four months. For most of us, that’s ideal. At only 38% of Earth’s gravity, you can jump three times as high, lift weight three times as easily, and you now only weigh around one-third of your Earth-weight.  Once you get used to controlling your body in this new environment, it may not be too shabby.  Not to mention, you are now only around half of your Earth age.  In other words, if you were 30 years old when you left Earth, you will be turning 16 on Mars. This is perfect timing because you can now legally drive the Mars Rover Curiosity.  That is, assuming your new planet has the same legal driving age or licenses in general.  Your Local Weather Forecast Your local forecast is very dusty with a chance of hot or cold.  Due to your sparse atmosphere, your sky and environment are almost always very hazy with iron-rich dust. This is also what causes the red-orange-colored skies around you.  You will often experience increasing winds that cause severe dust storms that cover your new planet entirely. You will want to keep an eye out for these.  Your biggest concern will be the extremely high amount of radiation let in by incoming sunlight with your thin atmosphere. We recommend inventing an SPF 1,000,000 sunscreen before your move-in on Mars. Since your new atmosphere is only 1% as dense as Earth’s, heat and cold are not easily trapped, so your temperatures will fluctuate quickly.  Though your temperature is typically around -80º Fahrenheit, it can suddenly jump up to around 70º F by the equator during your Summers. Afternoon rainstorms are highly likely, but you will never see a single drop hit the Mars surface because of your extremely dry climate.  If you live around the poles, where you have large frozen icecaps, you may occasionally experience snowstorms. However, these storms differ from Earth in that they are flakes of dry ice. For Sale! Are you looking for extended Springs and Summers, starry night skies, and an additional Moon?  Are your allergies unaffected by dust, and you truly appreciate the colors orange and red?  Then, Mars may be the perfect place for you.  But, with its extremely cold temperatures and risk for fatal radiation, you will …

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Living On Mercury (What Would Life Be on Mercury?).

Living On Mercury (What Would Life Be on Mercury?)

This is about how it would be to live on the planet Mercury. How about a black sky in the daytime? So if you want to know how life on Mercury might be, this article is for you. Let’s get started! What Would It Be Like To Live on Mercury? As most of us already know, living essentially anywhere besides Earth in our solar system would be extremely deadly.  Let’s forget about that for a moment and assume that we have the technology and capabilities to do so.  So, what would it be like to live on Mercury?  Let’s find out! Mercury – Quick Facts Distance from Sun: 35 million miles Text Message to Earth: Takes about 3 min. Mass: 5% of Earth Width: 38% of Earth Gravity: 38% of Earth Length of Day: 1,408 hours (59 x Earth Day) Length of Year: 88 days (24% of 1 Earth year) Average Temp: 333º F Pressure: Unknown Moons: No Rings: No Your Typical Day on Mercury You would wake up, just like your Earth day.  Except, when you woke up, you would only be about 2% of the way through the same day you went to sleep. This is because a Mercurial day is 59 times as long as one Earth day, or 1,400 hours. You decide to make some coffee and watch the sunrise on your porch. As opposed to the brief, sacred time that it takes for the Sun to rise on Earth, you would have a much different experience on this new planet.  The Sun begins to rise and suddenly appears to come to a complete stop in the ski. After a while, it begins moving back in the opposite direction.  Finally, it continues the other way on its original path and sets. You might be thinking that this actually sounds rather enjoyable.  But, keep in mind that this sunrise would take over 170 Earth days because of the incredibly long day. Hope you made a large pot of coffee. Your Typical Night on Mercury As your freezing night begins, your sky would look identical to the way it did during the day (explained below), pitch black.  The stars would certainly be bright and would not even twinkle once without a hazy atmosphere in your way.  One large, noticeable difference would be that you have no moon to look at. In fact, you have no moons at all.  If you’re looking to stay up late, you may want to keep in mind that midnight will not occur until almost 44 Earth days after the Sun has gone down. Your Typical Year on Mercury With Mercury’s low gravity, which is only around 38% of that on Earth, your first year would have some big upsides.  For starters, you would be able to jump almost three times as high and lift three times as much.  You would also weigh about one-third of your current weight on Earth without any exercise.  With your new calendar year being only 88 days long, you would have four times as many birthdays.  However, this would also make you four times as old. If you were 20 years old on Earth, you would be 85 years old on Mercury. Your Local Weather Forecast Mercury has essentially no atmosphere, which would make for very predictable, but brutal days and nights.  For instance, without a thick atmosphere to scatter the Sun’s incoming light, your daytime skies would appear almost completely black, and stars would never twinkle.  On most parts of the planet, your average temperatures would be around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  After all, this new planet is only 35 million miles from the Sun, which is not far in cosmic terms.  When the Sun finally sets, temperatures plummet very quickly to around -200 degrees Fahrenheit because there is no atmosphere to trap the heat. With the high temperatures, if you are hoping for a nice rainstorm, don’t hold your breath.  With little to no atmosphere, you would never have rain, or snow, or hurricanes.  You could, however, experience earthquakes, or Mercuryquakes rather, because as the planet’s molten core cools over time, it’s slowly breaking down and causing Mercury to shrink.  So, it looks like you can cross off weather reporter during your new job search. It’s definitely going to be really hot, then really cold with a 0% chance of precipitation. For Sale! If 100-day sunrises, scorching days, frigid nights, and lots of birthday parties are what you seek, then Mercury would be a great location for you.  Only two space missions have ever visited Mercury for what it’s worth, so you might want to do some research first before moving there. See What Life Would Be Like on Another Plant Jupiter Mars Moon Neptune Saturn Sun Uranus Venus