Humans hoping to launch themselves to another planet or even into the Sun are sadly out of luck -- for now. But in a few billion years, when the Sun becomes a red giant and destroys our terrestrial oceans, future folk will hypothetically be able to make their homes elsewhere. Saturn and Jupiter's icy moons -- Enceladus and Europa, respectively -- have topped the list for future Earthling getaways. But new research suggests that these worlds might not be so habitable, even after their icy surfaces melt.
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In Andy Weir's novel-turned-Matt-Damon-movie The Martian, the protagonist endures the harsh terrain of Mars by using his own shit to grow potatoes. The idea isn't that outlandish -- over the last few years, a NASA-backed project has been attempting to simulate Martian potato farming by growing taters in the Peruvian desert. While early results were promising, new research suggests that survival of any life on Mars -- much less potato-growing humans -- might be more difficult than we thought. I blame Matt Damon.
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
It seems like everything on this trash planet is doomed to go extinct before humans do, much to my chagrin. The woeful tale of New Zealand's yellow-eyed penguin is no different: The adorable bird -- which even makes an appearance on the country's currency -- is dangerously close to extinction, at least at one well-monitored mainland breeding ground. And it's (probably) all our fault.