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The Universe is still largely a mysterious place. This is why scientists peer into the skies, so they can better understand how Earth came to be. Experts have plenty of enigmas to solve: bursts of radio waves seemingly “out of the blue”, understanding how gravity really works and what’s all that dark energy is doing in space.
Other, Earth-bound mysteries have to do with how Planet Earth came to support life. Scientists want to know how come Earth transformed so radically different from other planets in the Solar System, that it could support life. Venus, our nearest planet, evolved completely differently. It hasn’t got liquid water, and temperatures are in the 870 degrees Fahrenheit. We don’t yet know why these major differences exist between planets and how they affect them.
So scientists decided to peer into the Universe, to complete the puzzle of life. They have observed other star systems and looked for conditions similar to Earth’s. The next step will be more space missions to help experts unravel the missing pieces.
The scientific community now agrees on the general outline of our solar system’s history. It all started 4.6 billion years ago when a huge cloud of dust and gas which was floating through space collapsed within itself. The cloud turned into a spinning disk which gave birth to our solar system, about 100 million years ago.
So far, not many minute details about our “cosmic neighborhood” formation emerged.
Scientists believe that our planets grew by incorporating smaller objects which formed out of the protoplanetary dust. We don’t yet know what made up these space objects, and their composition was so far hard to determine. But one of the clues came from studying pieces of meteorites that fell on Earth.
Even they don’t tell the complete story. That’s why experts want to send more space missions towards objects floating near Earth. A proposal for a future mission, worthy to be taken into consideration by NASA’s Discovery program, is an asteroid called Psyche.
Scientists know it floats in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and they believe it’s made of solid metal. They also suspect that it could have been one of the building blocks that shaped Earth. Someday, we will better understand the origins of the Universe, hopefuly.
What do you think about Space Exploration? Is it worth the money, or could we do without it? Leave a comment below! Thanks.
Image Source – Seathos