So far, we only have one example of life — the biosphere of Earth. Our planet probably isn’t unique in the universe, but compared to the other large objects in our solar system, Earth looks special. However, there are a few other spots in our solar system that could support life. It would be so nice to find another living neighbor — as long as they kept to themselves after we meet them.
- Jupiter’s moon, Europa, could harbor life in vast watery oceans beneath its icy crust. Europa’s subsurface oceans hold roughly twice as much water (or more) as the Earth’s oceans — so there could be organisms similar to extremophiles that live near hydrothermal vents at the bottom of our oceans. [url]
- Life, but not as we know it, could potentially exist on Saturn’s giant moon, Titan. There’s a sea of liquid methane on Titan which would require a very different biochemistry — but it’s apparently not unthinkable that a theoretical cell membrane called an azotosome might exist. Or not. [url]
- Optimistic astrobiologists might be surprised to find lifeforms that are more complex than single-celled organisms. Newly discovered Antarctic crustaceans and fish living deep under a glacier in Lake Whillans provide an example of an unexpected thriving ecosystem that is almost completely isolated from the rest of our biosphere. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.