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Scientists have found a new home for mankind! Not Mars, but an ocean planet 400 million kilometers away

by Stajila 6 days ago in astronomy
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Scientists have found a new home for mankind!

When we talk about habitable planets in our solar system, besides our home, Earth, another planet that has attracted much attention is Mars, which is called the "second Earth".

However, it is very difficult to transform Mars, because although it is in the habitable zone, the surface of Mars is extremely harsh, with terribly low temperatures and endless sand and dust, making Mars a lifeless planet.

Of course, scientists have proposed a variety of ways to transform Mars, hoping that the future can be through the transformation of Mars, artificially making Mars habitable, then, in addition to Mars, the solar system, there is a habitable planet.

400 million kilometers away appeared a habitable planet

The planet, which scientists now believe is highly likely to contain life, is the only dwarf planet in the asteroid belt - Ceres.

The discovery of Ceres was also made possible by astronomical calculations deduced in the mid-18th century when scientists had already discovered six planets (except Uranus and Neptune), and at the same time, in the process of studying the six planets, scientists found that there was a relationship between the ratio of the distances between all six planets and the Sun.

In short, this distance ratio is a certain average, which is also the key to maintaining the stability of the solar system. So, by calculation, scientists thought that there should be a celestial body between Mars and Jupiter, knowing that, at that time, humans did not know the existence of the asteroid belt, so it was thought that there might be a planet between Mars and Jupiter.

Interestingly, based on the distance deduced between the planet and the Sun, scientists first discovered, not Ceres, but a British scientist found and confirmed the existence of Uranus through speculation, in an estimated orbit.

This discovery also made scientists once again convinced of the existence of a new planet between Mars and Jupiter. However, after the discovery of Uranus in 1781, no one found a new object between Mars and Jupiter for the next 20 years, and at this time, many researchers began to doubt that the previous estimate could be wrong.

Finally, on New Year's Day in 1801, an Italian astronomer observing the sky found a small object in orbit between Mars and Jupiter, and for the next few days it was observed, and the object was found to be constantly moving.

But not long after, when looking for this small object again, it disappeared again, other astronomers after getting this news, also did not find the figure of this small object, so this also let many people think that may be seen a flash comet.

Time and nearly 1 year later, on the last day of December 1801, German astronomers finally found the figure of this small object again, while in the continued observation of more than 2 months, officially confirmed its existence, 1738, Ceres also became the first human discovery of asteroids, plagued scientists for decades of mystery, but also finally uncovered.

Over the next 200 years, scientists have learned more and more about Ceres, especially after the discovery of the existence of the asteroid belt and the existence of Pluto, and Ceres has become more urgent and special.

While Pluto was downgraded in 2006, Ceres was successfully upgraded to a dwarf planet, which makes it the closest dwarf planet to Earth. Interestingly, many studies in recent years are also showing that Ceres seems to be a very habitable planet.

An ocean planet in the asteroid belt

In the past, because of the limited level of science and technology, which also led to human understanding of Ceres, are also relatively one-sided, until February 2015, NASA's "Dawn" flyby Ceres, sent back a set of mysterious photos, through the photos, scientists found the surface of Ceres, there is a mysterious A bright spot.

What could this bright spot be? In subsequent studies, the discovery of "icy material" on Ceres also made scientists more excited about the planet.

NASA's "Dawn" probe found a mysterious plume on Ceres, which means that the interior of Ceres is extremely active and that there may be something unknown beneath the surface of Ceres.

What is more surprising is that on Ceres, "Dawn" also photographed a pyramid-shaped object, and this discovery, makes many people suspect that on Ceres, there may have been an unknown civilization.

In addition, recent studies have also shown that Ceres may have a large amount of liquid water, and water ice material, and it is very likely to be an ocean planet, and transforming it, maybe more suitable than transforming Mars.

Last August, NASA also published another research report on Ceres, showing that Ceres may be an ocean planet with 40% liquid water inside and because the probe found the presence of water vapor on Ceres, which also made some researchers suspect that there may be life on Ceres.

How did Ceres evolve?

When it comes to the formation of asteroids in the asteroid belt, scientists believe that they are generally associated with the great planetary collisions of the early solar system. Although there are only eight planets in our solar system today, modern scientific research, however, suggests that the number of planets in our solar system, in the early days of our solar system's birth, may have been at least hundreds.

We all know that the Sun, as a yellow dwarf, itself does not have much mass, which means that a large number of planets gathered around the Sun, while the Sun could not allocate enough orbits for them.

As a result, there was a "battle for orbit" among the early planets, and most of them eventually became fragments in the impact, were affected by Jupiter's gravity and gathered between Mars and Jupiter to form the asteroid belt.

Of course, there are some special ones, such as protoplanets like Ceres. What is a protoplanet? Simply put, it's a budding planet that for some reason, say, suffered a severe blow early in its evolution, causing a large amount of mass to disappear, which prevents it from evolving properly.

As a result, the protoplanet was preserved in the form of a "dwarf planet", a separate and complete entity that was the predecessor of the Earth-like planets, which is why it had intense internal activity and continued to generate heat inside, allowing it to become an ocean planet.

It is believed that Ceres' liquid ocean is located between the stratum and the core because it is far from the sun, so its surface does not have enough light, and the formation of ice, so that its ocean is "sealed" to the interior.

Is Ceres suitable for humans?

At the beginning of the article we mentioned that, at this stage, the most suitable planet for human immigration is the current focus of exploration - Mars, however, there are many problems with the transformation of Mars, after all, the interior of Mars is "dead" state, Mars has no This also means that even if humans succeed in simulating the environment of Earth on the surface of Mars, Mars may not be able to provide habitable space for humans for too long.

To put it more bluntly, the inactivity of Mars' interior means that it cannot provide the thermal and other assistance that would allow humans to successfully transform it in the short term.

Unlike Ceres, which, as we said above, is a planet with very active internal motion, scientists proposed plans to transform Ceres years ago.

The planet is very active internally, and many years ago, scientists proposed a plan to transform Ceres into a "space station" with a capacity of 5,000 inhabitants.

In addition, the surface of Ceres can also be modified, through some methods to make its surface temperature rise, and let it form an atmosphere similar to the Earth, so that many resources can be self-sufficient on Ceres, and humans can also directly through the transport device so that the "satellite cities" around Ceres to obtain a constant stream of resource supply.

However, because Ceres is in the middle of the asteroid belt, we know that the number of asteroids in the asteroid belt is counted in millions, which means that Ceres is in the middle of it, there will be more chances of being hit, which makes Ceres not as stable as we think.

At the same time, Ceres is after all a dwarf planet, it is even much smaller than the moon, relatively speaking, in its surface land area, but also can not support too much human habitation, compared to Mars, although Mars is very small, but the land area on Mars, but almost the same as on Earth, which also means that Mars can carry more humans.

In addition to Ceres and Mars, over the years, scientists are also trying to find new homes for humans, although in the study, many scientists have found that outside the solar system, there is a habitable planet for humans turnkey, however, humans may never arrive.

Because the universe is too big and humans are too slow, even if we could achieve the speed of light, it would take us nearly nine years to get to the nearest Proxima system and back.

Other habitable planets are also more out of reach, so the focus of future human migration is still the inner solar system, so, in your opinion, which planet inside the solar system is the most reliable?

astronomy

About the author

Stajila

The progress of scientific research and its increasingly expanding fields will arouse our hope。

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