by Karina Bakshi

There are many reasons why we might have to leave our planet- Global warming, the sun exploding, or the danger of an asteroid. But if we leave then we have to go somewhere and find a habitable planet. There are a few which fit into this category.

Searching for exoplanets can be hard sometimes as there are very specific conditions that have to be fulfilled for a planet to host any life. Some of these conditions include temperature, amount of H2O (water), terrain, and atmosphere. For a while, Earth was the only planet known to house these conditions. Recently, however, some new exoplanets have been discovered such as Kepler-442b which, according to this article, may be able to host life. These planets are very earth-like and have the proper conditions to host life. But these planets are light-years away and it seems impossible to reach them. These planets could still host aliens though.

It can be quite difficult to map earth-like exoplanets because like mentioned before, the conditions are very specific. One big problem is that most of the stars in the universe are red dwarfs, which don’t produce enough energy for proper photosynthesis to occur. However, there are still a lot of sun-like stars which makes this possible but again like I said, it is very difficult to reach these planets because of the distance. Though it is possible that we could exploit things like Wormholes to reach other planets, it’s still very unlikely.

There are some planets in the solar system such as Mars, The Moon, or Titan (one of Saturn’s moons) though none of these provide all of the conditions needed to sustain life and we will still need special gear to survive. Even if we do find a way to colonize here, it is still temporary as the sun will become a red giant in a few billion years and these planets will become uninhabitable. According to this article by NASA, it is unclear whether the earth will survive the transformation of the sun, and it also stated that all of the other planets will be heated up and put further from the sun, so it would be very hard to live on these. Additionally, when the sun becomes a white dwarf, then it will emit too little energy and heat, and the planets will become too cold. 

Because of the earth-like conditions, these planets might help us find aliens. It is totally possible that there are many aliens living on earth-like planets that we just haven’t discovered yet due to the lack of proper signals. We still haven’t found any aliens but maybe if we look more at these planets we could discover something interesting. 

In conclusion, exoplanets are a very interesting topic to discuss, even though it is unlikely that we will reach any one of them anytime soon. If we do find a way however, then we could  potentially escape our impending extinction. 

Karina Bakshi is a 7th grader who enjoys learning and writing about science, especially space research. In her free time, she enjoys gaming. She plays the piano. She loves dogs and has one. Her main goal at The Ascent is to spread her ideas and opinions about science and tech.

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