Can we colonize other planets?
Why is the earth the only planet we can colonize?
First off, it is debatable whether Earth is actually the only planet humans can colonize, but in any case, a large amount of effort would have to go into making other planets habitable. Earth's conditions are ideal for human life. The atmosphere contains exactly the right amounts of oxygen, water vapor and other gases for us to breathe, and is thick enough to protect life from harmful radiation and small objects from space, but is thin enough that we are not crushed under its pressure. The temperature is just right for liquid water, which is necessary for life, and there is ample food to sustain us. Also, the Earth's tectonic and volcanic activity is not so violent that civilization is constantly recovering from catastrophe. Humans could likely colonize the Moon, Mars, and other planets and satellites with solid rocky surfaces. At first, they would have to live in space-station-like interiors, but there is a process called terraforming, or rendering a planet habitable, that is currently being researched.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 32871 times since February 4, 2003.
Last modified: June 4, 2003 3:50:12 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)