Fun with the solar system

I looked through Barrie Jones’ Life in the Solar System and beyond recently, and was reminded of how much fun it is to learn about the planets, all these vast balls of difference tilting around the sun.  I loved thinking about Jupiter as the shield of the system, deflecting or capturing large foreign objects.  And he noted that the Moon stabilizes Earth so that the planet doesn’t tilt too much, almost certainly making life as we know it possible.
He talked about life as in essence being complex carbons and liquid water yielding intelligence, in the form of deliberate activity (he also noted that silicon is so abundant it might be a source of some kind of life on planets with hotter environs).

It was fun to think about supernovas populating the universe with the building blocks of life, and lovely to see him cite Star Trek without having tongue too much in cheek.

No real answers about whether we might find life elsewhere in the vast reaches of our galaxy, let alone the universe. But he seems to think the odds are good.  I’m reading Life’s Solution by Simon Conway Morris, which seems to believe just the opposite.  I’ll post more on that later.

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