Need a Double Lifetime

After yesterday’s gales, when nature reminds humanity just who the real boss is, it is now a lovely spring morning. Something that she also provides to prepare us for the summer and the bountiful harvest that will follow. At which lyrical point, I feel obliged to write about just how unique, as far as we know, this little planet is and the wonder of the universe in which it is situated.

Indeed, you only have to look at the photos from the Hubble telescope to make your jaw drop in sheer  awe. From string theory to black holes and more, we are starting to get a feel for the universe we live in. And, the more we learn, it seems that the more we have yet to discover. It now appears, for example that baryonic matter, that which makes up most of what we experience, constitutes a mere 5% of the total matter, with dark matter forming 20% and dark energy 70%. Holy cow! So, from strings, to quarks (4 types), subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, comets, asteroids and planetary debris, moons, planets, stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, our universe, other universes and other dimensions, we still have much to learn.

Fascinatingly, we are now starting to identify exoplanets, ie, those outside our solar system; some of which may harbour life. As might some of those within our own system. When I look at artists’ impressions of these, as I did yesterday, with the Trappist 1 system, a mere 39 light years away, I truly am awestruck. It seems that three of its seven planets may be within the so called “Goldilocks Zone” of a star system that could support life. It is during these times that, to quote a Loudon Wainwright song, I “need a double lifetime”. You see, I want to be around long enough to pay a visit and for all the questions that I have to be answered. And for that, I really need much more than my allotted span. Ain’t life amazing.

If you’re interested, here’s a link. http://www.space.com/35805-earth-size-exoplanets-trappist-1-tour.html

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