The "Earth moon machine" may be the reason there is life on this planet. Now astronomers have discovered that the sun may save us from extinction. Can all this be an accident?
The moon came about after a gigantic collision with the earth during the formation of the solar system, when a huge object struck the planet, leaving a crater that is now the Pacific Ocean. The result is that the moon was found by our lunar astronauts to be made up of a mixture of earth and other material.
Without the moon higher life forms on earth would be impossible, because wind caused by the planet's rotation would exceed a constant 200 miles per hour. However, the moon orbits the earth in the same direction that it rotates, but more slowly, causing these winds to become the mild prevailing breezes that make earth's varied weather possible.
Life on earth depends on the exquisite balance between earth and moon, to such an extent that scientists have called the two a "life creating machine," and it has even been speculated that the way they work together may not be an accident.
Something is happening on the sun that may not be an accident either. In the December 5 edition of the Independent, David Whitehouse writes that "between 1645 and 1715 sunspots were rare. It was also a time when the Earth's northern hemisphere chilled dramatically." In the past few years, sunspots have been at a record high?but that is no longer the case. Whitehouse says, "After a period of exceptionally high activity in the 20th century, our sun has suddenly gone exceptionally quiet. Astronomers are waiting for the sunspots to return and mark the start of the next, the so-called cycle 24. They have been waiting for a while now with no sign it's on its way any time soon."
This may save us from global warming, since sunspots contribute to the warming of the earth. At least, it may postpone the inevitable long enough for us to figure out how to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
Art credit: gimp-savvy.com
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