As of 2014, science has not confirmed the ability of humans to live on other planets. However, scientists working with the Kepler space telescope announced in 2013 that a few recently discovered planets offer the best hope yet for the survival of human life away from Earth.Continue Reading
Mars has long been one of the planets most studied to assess its potential to host human life. However, bitterly cold surface conditions, a thin atmosphere consisting heavily of carbon dioxide, limited supplies of liquid water and constant dust storms are among the most cited obstacles.
The five planets discovered from 2011 to 2013 are called Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, Kepler 62, Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f. An April 2013 CNN article indicated that Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f are the most likely to be habitable. Kepler-62f is most similar to the Earth and is about 40 percent larger in size. William Borucki, the lead investigator of NASA's Ames Research Center, states that it has a land mass, water, rocks and polar caps, just as Earth does. Kepler-62e is about 60 percent larger than the Earth, but it consists of lots of water and very deep oceans. Its limited land mass would impede population development. Kepler-69c is about 70 percent larger than the Earth and appears to have a very warm surface. As of 2014, it is not firmly known whether or not humans could live on any of these planets.Learn more about Planets
As of 2014, there are eight planets in Earth's solar system. In order by distance to the sun, the planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Pluto was considered to be a ninth planet until 2006, when it was demoted to a dwarf planet.Full Answer >
The main reason planets in the solar system can be seen from Earth is because they reflect light from the sun. The light reflected off of the five closest planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, can be seen from the Earth with the naked eye.Full Answer >
One rhyme to remember the planets is "Amazing Mercury is closest to the Sun, Hot, hot Venus is the second one, Earth comes third; it’s not too hot, Freezing Mars awaits an astronaut, Jupiter is bigger than all the rest, Sixth comes Saturn, its rings look best, Uranus and Neptune are big gas balls, Tiny Pluto is the last planet of all." As well as using rhymes to remember the order of the planets, there are also a good selection of mnemonics available.Full Answer >
The planets in the solar system have nicknames based mainly on appearance, and also due to their physical makeup or the times at which they can be seen from Earth. Some of the common nicknames include "Red Planet" for Mars and "Evening Star" for Venus.Full Answer >