Water outside Earth on the other planets of the solar system

Water on Earth
Water is abundant on Earth. (Source: NASA)

The planet Earth is the only planet where life exists. Water is considered as a vital need for the existence of life on Earth. Earth has water in a large amount which is present in the form of oceans. But the planet Earth is not alone which has water. Other planets and moons also contain water on their surface.

Water in the solar system

The molecules of water were formed from the hydrogen and oxygen at the time of formation of solar system. As the same types of elements are distributed throughout the solar system, water is also present in different places of the solar system.

The planets were formed by the process of accretion means planets were formed when dust and small particles around the sun come together and clustered into bigger rocks due to the gravitational attraction. The conditions in the inner solar system were too hot for the presence of water that’s why inner planets have very small amount of water but the planet Earth is an exception and the reason for large amount of water on Earth is believed to be due to a comet which collided with earth in past and left the oceans of water on the surface of Earth.

The water is present in the considerable amount of the bodies present in the outer solar system. The moons of the Jovian planet have water in the large amount in the form of ice. The bodies in the Kuiper belt also have frozen water. The comets have very large amount of water in the form of ice because comets also come from the outer solar system.

Let us look at some bodies which have a large amount of water on them.

Water on Mars

From the ancient time, Mars was believed to have oceans and rivers of water. People believed that canals were developed for irrigation and the dark patches were considered as oceans. But later it was proved by Mars missions that the planet mars does not have surface water but the evidence indicates that the poles of Mars have water in the form of ice hidden under the surface.

Water on Europa

Europa is the moon of Jupiter which has a large amount of water on its surface. Europa has water in the form of ice which has a thickness of several Km. Due to the tidal forces applied by Jupiter on Europa, the internal energy is generated which has melted the ice from inside. So it is believed that Europa must have oceans under the thick layer of ice.

Water on Enceladus

Enceladus is the moon of which also has frozen water on its surface, the most interesting feature of ice on Enceladus is the geysers of ice. The internal energy applies a force on ice and water vapors which break the layer of ice where it is thin and comes out as a burst. The geysers throw the ice and vapor up to the height of 500 km in space. The icy surface also has cracks on it which are also believed to be due to tidal forces.

Water on Moon of Earth

The moon of Earth does not have an atmosphere, so it cannot hold the evaporated water but the water is present in the form of ice in the polar region. The polar regions of the moon are very cold and water ice is present there in sufficient amount.

Water on Mercury

The planet mercury is the coldest planet of solar system due to which it is very hot and unable to hold the atmosphere. It is very interesting to know that water is present on mercury in the form of ice in the polar region. The polar region remains cold constantly and the ice is preserved safely in the shadow of craters.

Water of Pluto

Pluto is the dwarf planet and contains a large amount of water on its surface in the form of ice. Pluto is present at a very large distance so observations of its surface are very difficult.

Water on Comets

Comets are believed to be the carrier of water to the Earth in past. Comets contain a large amount of water and hydrocarbon, ice water is usually present beneath the crust of comets and this ice vaporizes when comets come closure to the sun.

Water on Uranus and Neptune

Uranus and Neptune both are called icy giant because they are one of the coldest planets and contain water and methane in the form of ice. The main components of these planets are Hydrogen and Helium but their middle portion also contains water as ice.

So we can see that there are many bodies in the solar system which contains water in different forms. On Earth, water is present in all three form but other bodies contain water usually in the form of ice because of low temperature. In this way, we can say that water is one of the abundant quantities present in the solar system.

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