The atmosphere of a planet plays a crucial role in determining its habitability, or the ability of life to arise, persist, and evolve on its surface. Earth and Mars, two neighbouring planets in the inner solar system, offer a striking contrast in terms of their atmospheres and their potential for hosting life. While Earth has a rich and diverse atmosphere that has enabled the emergence of life as we know it, Mars has a thin and inhospitable atmosphere that limits its habitability. In this blog post, we will explore the main reasons why Earth has an atmosphere that created life and Mars does not.
In conclusion, Earth has an atmosphere that created life and Mars does not mainly because of its distance from the Sun, its strong magnetic field, and its active plate tectonics. These factors have enabled Earth to maintain a stable and diverse atmosphere that supports a variety of organisms, from microbes to mammals, and that has sustained the biosphere for billions of years. Mars, by contrast, has a thin and depleted atmosphere that limits its habitability to extreme niches and that poses challenges for future human exploration.
"Those who can't remember the past are doomed to repeat it" This famous quote by writer and philosopher George Santayana are harrowing words that apply today. Archeological finds on Islands near Venice are indicating how the city dealt with the Black Plague that swept through Europe 700 years ago. These finds show the extreme measures that were ordered to try and get the pandemic under control.
Image Courtesy of NASA
In the Milky Way Galaxy, there are 3 types of stars that are best suited to contain planets within the "Goldilocks Zones". These are the zones around a star that are not too hot, not too cold but are just right to contain planets capable of retaining liquid water, an atmosphere and thus can potentially contain life as we know it.
I am one of the Planet Hunters at Zooniverse. We analyze thousands of light curves from NASA's Transitting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to look for potential habitable planets. This is the first of many planets within the Star's habitable zone that will be discovered.
Maddalena Environmental Inc.