What are the places in the Solar System where there can be water?

In science fiction movies about aliens that threaten the Earth, they are usually attributed the reason for coming here to steal our resources, most of the time water. But this should not be the most common reason, at least scientifically, since water is found with some ease in our Solar system. Until relatively recently it was believed that the earth it was the only body in the Solar System that had water in liquid form. While it is true that it is the only place where liquid water is stable on the surface, there are ice almost everywhere. Many scientists also point out that liquid water can exist below surfaces in various bodies. But where in the Solar System is water likely to be found, and in what form?

Comets and the Kuiper Belt

According to the British Open University the places where it can exist microbial life need of liquid water, or at least «hot» ice within a few degrees of melting. These places are widespread, and are commonly found below the surface of cold bodies or around the edges of hot bodies. Farther from the Sun is the Oort Cloud, a region where most comets spend most of their time a few 10,000 times further from the Sun than Earth. They are mostly ice, with traces of various carbon and nitrogen compounds. There are probably about five masses of water on Earth, we cannot be sure, because only comets that move away from the Sun can be studied directly.

Most of the kites are less than about 10 km wide, and in the Oort Cloud they are separated by great distances, so if you are looking for large amounts of water, you would need to travel to the Kuiper Belt.

Mercury Polar Region (John Hopkins University)

The giant planets

Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter They are the giants of the Solar System. Deep inside, and confined by very high pressure, each of these is believed contains several bodies of water, sandwiched between its rocky core and its outer layers of hydrogen and helium gas.

There is no viable way to get to that water, but each of the giant planets has numerous moons that are made primarily of ice. Away from the Sun, ice contains methane, ammonia, and carbon monoxide as well as water. However, at Jupiter’s distance from the Sun, only five times farther than Earth, it is too hot for the most volatile ice to condense, resulting in relatively pure ice.

There is convincing evidence that several icy moons they have internal oceans. The best places to look for life are where the ocean sits on a warm rock. This may be the case within Europa (Jupiter) and Enceladus (Saturn), but chemical reactions with rock make liquid water salty.

Europa Ocean, moon of 3,130 km in diameter belonging to Jupiter (NASA)

Rocky planets

Closer to the sun Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury They are in a region that was too hot for ice to condense when the Solar System was forming. Consequently, the planets are mostly rocks, which can condense at higher temperatures than ice. The only water on the rocky planets was trapped within the minerals and then sweated out from the inside, or added to the surface impacting the comets, notes The Open University.

Probably sometime Mars had at least the same amount water proportional to your rock that the earthBut it is a smaller body with weaker gravity and no magnetic field, allowing most of its water to be lost to space. However, water ran on the surface of Mars in the past and there are interesting signs that water is seeping downhill to form gullies even today. Mind you, to survive as a liquid, it would probably have to be very salty.

It is known from scientific data that also there is ice on the polar capsBut none of the settings appear to be hospitable to life. However, by carrying the right kind of terrestrial microbes to the right places on Mars, they might be able to stay alive. What we are not sure of is whether the microbes have already made the trip between planets, hooked, for example, to meteorites.

While Mars is too cold Venus has had temperatures too hot for water for most of its history. However, there are drops of water in its upper atmosphere. This is not worth collecting as a resource, but as a possibility as a means of supporting microscopic life in the air.

The last place you can expect to find water is Mercury, due to its extreme heat temperatures. However, there are craters near the poles on whose floors the sun never shines. The presence of icy water in these regions, delivered by striking comets, has been demonstrated by various techniques, points out the Open University.

Similarly, «cold trapped» ice has also been found within polar craters on the moon. This may be one of the first resources in the Solar System that humans, instead of visiting aliens, exploit when we make our way into space.