Could we live on Neptune?

In recent years, astronomers have considered the possibility of humans moving to another planet more seriously. We can easily see this from the amount of private companies out there like SpaceX, which is trying to enable us to colonize the planet Mars.

Mars is the closest planet to us outwards of the Sun, and it’s pretty obvious we can move inwards because of the Sun’s fierce temperature, making Venus and Mercury both impossible for us to live on. But what if we look further out from Mars, to the other planets beyond it?

Out of the planets beyond Mars, none of them are suited for sustaining life on them, especially Neptune which is the furthest planet out from the Sun. But why isn’t Neptune a good planet for us to live in? Let’s look at some of the reason why.

Could we live on Neptune?

So, the answer is that we couldn’t live on the planet Neptune for a few reasons. It’s far too cold, there’s no oxygen and it’s primarily made up of ice! So, it’s not going to be suitable for colonization by humans any time soon.

Let’s take a look in a little more detail why we couldn’t live on the planet Neptune.

Neptune’s Ice Mantle

As I’ve just said, Neptune is primarily made up of ice, which is why we refer to it as one of the ice giant planets. Although there is a lot of gas surrounding Neptune (it’s atmosphere), the planet itself is largely made up of ice and doesn’t have a solid surface for us to stand on. So, this is one major reason that humans could not live on the planet Neptune.

Neptune’s Cold Temperature

Surprisingly enough, it turns out that Uranus has actually had colder temperatures on it’s planet, even though it is closer to our Sun than Neptune is. However, this is likely due to the fact that Uranus has a strange rotational orientation.

Anyway, Neptune is still extremely cold, where average temperatures are lower than -200°c. So, unless you think you’d be able to cope with this kind of temperature (if you’re Alaskan you might be able to!), then this is another reason why we won’t live on the planet Neptune.

Neptune’s lack of Oxygen

One of the reasons that we’re able to live on the planet Earth is that it’s atmosphere is made up of a lot of oxygen (approximately 20%). No other planet has this, including Neptune, which only has trace amounts of oxygen. So, it would be impossible for us to breath on the planet Neptune, which is another obstacle for humans living there.

As an example, if people hiking up to Mount Everest have to take extra oxygen with them to be able to breathe properly. So can you imagine the difference on another planet entirely? We would have to use a spacesuit and oxygen canister permanently on Neptune if we visited.

Neptune’s weather

So, we know that the atmosphere has no oxygen like Earth’s does, but how else is it different to Earth’s? Well, the winds on the planet Neptune are far more severe than the winds on Earth. They can reach speeds of more than 2,000kmh, which is more than 9x the speeds of winds on our planet. These winds and storms would make it a nightmare for humans to live on this planet.

Conclusion

So in conclusion, there are many reasons why we could not live on the planet Neptune. However, there is the possibility for us to colonize another planet, Mars, which would be far more suitable for humans to live on. However, we still have a lot to do to even make this possible, which we will see develop over the next few years.

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