What are some limitations to the search for life on other planets?


Please be specific and explain your thoughts in detail.

21 Answers

  • Eric
    Lv 4
    11 months ago

    The first limitation is that there are no planets. Earth is not a planet, it's a plane. What you call planets are actually wandering stars, as opposed to fixed stars. That's Number One. Secondly, no human or object has ever been more than a dozen miles from the surface of the Earth. It's not possible to leave a self-contained system with no means of ingress or egress. The only life there is anywhere is the life upon this Earth. This nonsense about aliens and spaceships and satellites and probes is laughable. People who live in the mountains can't get a decent cell signal, yet they're chatting with "astronauts" who are 300,000 miles away and remote controlling probes that are tens of millions of miles away? You believe that idiocy? Think about that for a moment.

  • 11 months ago

    distance speed and time

    it be big out there

  • Lack of oxygen and nitrogen

  • Clive
    Lv 7
    11 months ago

    Others go on about distance... but let's look at what kind of planets might be the best ones to have life. A lot of which we can work out just looking from here.

    Having liquid water would obviously be a good one. So how hot or cold is the planet? Maybe you can have life without it but it seems less likely.

    Does it have a magnetic field? That's a big one for Earth. Our Sun throws out a lot of charged particles that can cause mutations and if too much of that gets down to the surface, you'll get too many and the evolution of life will be continually interrupted. The Earth's magnetic field is a good shield against those. Without it, it would be like living in the path of a nuclear bomb blast.

    A big moon is a help. It stops the planet wobbling too much so the seasons stay the same for long enough for life to develop past being just bacteria.

    The planet will have to be big enough so that its gravity can hold on to an atmosphere that living things can breathe. Otherwise you'd be looking at life that works a totally different way from us, if that's even possible.

    And what's in that atmosphere? If there's some free oxygen in it, now it gets really interesting. Oxygen reacts with virtually everything so if you can detect some, there must be something that keeps producing it. The only thing we know of that does that is plants.

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  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    The biggest limitation of all is if there is no life on other planets.

  • 11 months ago

    The others concentrate on limitations of doing the search. Sounds like they consider searching to be pointless. My answer is more positive, stating if you do try to search, some factors would limit what would be the more promising candidates to search for.

    Right type of star that planet orbits. Ones emitting hard radiation or are remnants of a supernova or just formed from a dust and gas nebula or are part of a multiple system are not high on the list to host a planet with life.

    Planets within the zone (nee "Goldilocks") where liquid water might exist are more interesting.

    Planets that are no phase locked (one face always toward the star) are not as interesting.

    Gas giant planets are not interesting, but if a moon orbits it, that might fit the bill.

    Planets that are too small in mass might not retain enough atmosphere to host life.

    Source(s): Fifty-four years of Sky & Telescope Magazine.
  • Paula
    Lv 7
    11 months ago

    1) we can not go to any other planet with our present rocket technology.

    2) we can send robot probes to planets of this solar system. But they can only examine the surface area where they land. The rest of the planet is able to be explored.

    3) planets of other star systems are so far away that we can barely detect them even using our largest telescopes. So finding life on one is near impossible.

  • 11 months ago

    Distance for a start

    Time will always be a barrier

    And how would we communicate ?

    I mean just why a dog chases a car, what is it going to do when it catches it ??

    Attachment image
    Source(s): I think dogs are Aliens
  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    1. Distance

    2. Time

    3. Communication method

    4. Unknown if primitive or advance civilization

  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    distance is the main one but communication may be impossible , if they don't have radio we will never know about them if their electronics is based on a different material it may not be compatible , there may be billions of inhabited planets in the universe but if they can't transmit EM radiation we will never find them

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