While scientists continue to discover fascinating ways in which Mars might be a habitable planet for humans, many people are beginning to wonder why we aren’t exploring other planets as viable options for building human colonies. Among the first planets asked about is Jupiter, the largest planet of all that could house at least double the amount of Earth’s growing number of inhabitants.
Fans of Jupiter might be disappointed to learn that there are a few reasons why this planet is far from habitable. The biggest reason has to do with its uniquely cold climate.
Jupiter: The Cold Planet
Jupiter is minus 234 degrees Fahrenheit. This data alone tells us everything that we need to know about its habitability. Why is it so cold? Because it’s so far away from the sun. Earth is about 93 million miles away from the sun while Jupiter is approximately 484 million. Currently, even the most inventive minds at NASA are incapable of developing technology to compensate from this insanely low temperature.
Now, we all know that on Earth, the temperature depends on how close you are to the equator. The closer you are, the hotter your local climate. This isn’t the case with Jupiter, however. The heat that Jupiter does have comes from its core rather than the sun. Therefore, its temperature and climate don’t really vary all that much, and how cold you’ll feel depends on how far above the planet’s surface you are.
Gravity is a Bit of a Problem
In fact, being so far away from the sun compared to Earth creates a host of habitability issues. Another reason why we can’t conceive living on Jupiter is because of the planet’s gravity situation. Jupiter’s gravity is about 2.5 times ours, meaning that that simple mobility would be greatly compromised. Imagine having two people who are each the weight of your own body standing on your shoulders permanently. Now, try to imagine simply walking across the room to grab yourself some water. Doesn’t sound easy, does it?
The Air Isn’t Breathable
Let’s remember for a moment that Jupiter’s atmosphere is composed of hydrogen and gas while ours is composed of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. As natives to Earth, we have no difficulty breathing in its air as our lungs have adapted to it long before the planet was given a name.
Meanwhile, the atmosphere of Jupiter is impossible for humans to breathe in. Essentially, we would suffocate before being able to explore the planet.
Its Surface is Unlivable
We also have to remember that Jupiter is a gaseous planet, meaning that it’s not believed to have solid ground. In order to live somewhere, solid ground is pretty important, isn’t it?
What Makes Mars So Special?
So, how does Mars differ from Jupiter in terms of habitability? Well, for one thing, its ground is solid. It’s also close enough to the sun to have a habitable temperature that humans, in theory, can handle. And, its atmosphere isn’t so far off from our own.
But, you never know when it comes to space travel. One day in the future, scientists may discover a way to make any planet habitable. That’s the beauty of space technology, isn’t it?
It Just Won’t Work
As of now, it’s simply impossible to live on Jupiter due to a variety of factors. However, Mars is looking more and promising every day.