Looking at the earth from space, we will find that this is really a very beautiful world. The appearance of the earth presents a beautiful blue brilliance, so we call the earth the blue planet.
Why is the earth blue? One of the main reasons is that there are a lot of liquid water resources on the surface. 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean, while the land area is only 29%. Standing on the earth, you may not feel the huge gap between the land and the ocean area, but if you stand in space, you will see it very much. obvious.
The land where humans live is separated by the ocean, forming five major plates. Such a vast ocean makes the earth look like a water world, and many people call the earth a water ball. So can the earth’s water resources be called a water-rich planet if it is placed in the universe?
There are countless galaxies and countless planets in the vast universe. We currently do not have the ability to detect planets outside the solar system on the spot. Naturally, we don’t know the water resources of each planet in the solar system. However, in the solar system, in addition to the eight planets, there are a large number of asteroids, and some asteroids orbit the planets and become satellites.
Some of these satellites also have a lot of water resources. How do they compare with the earth’s water resources? Below we will carry out some simple science introductions. Speaking of planets with abundant water resources, in addition to the earth, we need to focus on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
We all know that Jupiter and Saturn are the largest and second largest planets in the solar system. Due to their huge mass, they rely on the advantage of gravity to attract many asteroids to become satellites. Each of these satellites has a different style, and some satellites can be called a world of ice and water.
Let’s first look at the real water-rich planet Europa. Europa is the sixth known moon of Jupiter and the fourth largest moon of Jupiter. It has a very nice name called Europa, which is a mild world.
Europa is only 3,100 kilometers in diameter, which is smaller than the moon, but it is such a small planet whose surface is basically covered by ice. It can be said to be the brightest satellite in the solar system. The reason why it has such a high brightness is because its surface is completely an ice world, which can reflect more and stronger sunlight.
Although Europa’s surface is completely covered by ice, its interior is still relatively active, with geothermal energy, so a huge water world is formed under the thick ice. According to current survey data, the depth of the ocean under Europa’s ice sheet may reach about 100 kilometers, which is more than 20 times the average depth of the Earth’s oceans.
It is important to know that the deepest place in the earth’s ocean is the Mariana Trench, which is only about 11,000 meters, which is far from comparable to Europa’s sub-glacial ocean depth. Although the diameter and volume of the Earth are many times larger than Europa, our water storage is far from comparable to a small Europa.
We can roughly calculate that the total area of the earth’s oceans is about 360 million square kilometers, and the total water volume is about 1.386 billion cubic kilometers. This number does sound a lot, but let’s look at Europa’s water resources: the ocean water content has reached 2.8 billion cubic kilometers, and the total amount of sea water is about 1.386 billion cubic kilometers. This number is the total water resources of the earth. More than twice the amount.
A satellite whose diameter is not as large as that of the Moon has a water storage capacity that is more than twice that of the Earth. This is really an incredible thing. If all of Europa’s water was poured on the earth, the sea level of the earth would have to rise at least 5,000 meters. At that time, except for a few peaks, there would be basically no land on the earth.
After watching Europa, let’s look at another moon of Jupiter, Callisto. Europa is the second largest moon of Jupiter. Its diameter is about 99% of that of Mercury. It can be regarded as a relatively large satellite. Up. Although the diameter of Callisto is about the same as that of Mercury, its mass is only one-third of Mercury. The reason for this is that Callisto is basically made up of equal amounts of rock and water.
Although the surface of Europa is not completely covered by ice like Europa, the amount of water on it is more than Europa. The results of Galileo’s detection indicate that there may be a small silicate core inside Europa. At the same time, there may be an underground ocean of liquid water at 100 kilometers below its surface.
After introducing Europa, let’s take a look at Jupiter’s largest moon, Europa, which is also the largest moon in the solar system, with a diameter larger than that of Mercury. Ganymede is also a planet with far more water resources than the earth. It is mainly composed of silicate rocks and ice bodies, and its surface is also covered with a large amount of ice.
Ganymede is the only known satellite in the solar system that has a magnetic circle, which may be produced by the convective motion of an iron-rich flowing core. With the presence of the magnetic circle, it has also formed a thin oxygen-containing atmosphere. The detector detected that the surface of Ganymede was rich in various organic compounds, and also found the existence of substances such as magnesium sulfate and sodium sulfate. .
These important findings indicate that there may also be a huge ocean world outside Ganymede’s surface, and there may even be life. In addition to these satellites, Pluto and Triton are also icy worlds. There may also be liquid oceans under thick ice layers, and their water storage capacity exceeds that of the earth.
The two satellites Enceladus and Enceladus also have abundant water resources, but they are not comparable to the earth. Through the above introduction, we can see that even in the solar system, the earth is not considered a water-rich planet. There are many planets rich in water resources.
It also shows that water is not a rare thing in the universe, as long as it is not particularly close to the main star, it is easy to enrich a large amount of water resources. Even if it leaves the habitable zone, the water on the surface becomes ice, but due to the existence of geothermal, there is a high probability that a rich subglacial ocean will be formed under the thick ice.
A small solar system can have so many water-rich planets, so looking at the entire galaxy, looking at the entire universe, there may be so many planets with rich water resources that we can’t believe it. Water is the source of life. It is precisely because of the abundant resources on the earth’s surface that life was bred, the continuous evolution of life was born, and the intelligent life mankind was finally born.
Because of the abundant water resources, the solar system can give birth to a planet of life and human beings. In other star systems in the universe, one or more planets of life may also be born. If luck is good enough, this planet of life can continue to evolve. Finally, intelligent life will be born and civilization will be formed.
Even in the solar system, scientists believe that life may also be born in the sub-glacial oceans on those water-rich planets, but because humans’ scientific and technological capabilities are still very limited, we have no way to enter the exploration. Perhaps in the near future, human probes will be able to probe deep into the sub-icy oceans among several moons of Jupiter and Saturn, looking for traces of extraterrestrial life. We look forward to this day.