When we look at the night sky, the first thing we see is the Moon. Its scars are an early warning that the realm beyond the confines of our atmosphere is a dangerous place.
By retrieving Moon samples we’ve learned that very early on, the Earth and Moon were once part of the same planet, the ‘proto-Earth’.
It collided with another planet, which must have been the most cataclysmic experience in Earth’s history. The impact ejected huge volumes of planetary material into space where it coalesced into a ring, and then into our Moon. The Earth continues to ‘wobble’ from the impact billions of years later, which causes the seasons.
Looking further into space, we see other planets both similar to our own…
And very different.
But all of them orbit our Sun, the giant heat-and-light giving behemoth at the centre of our solar system.
But it is just an average star, one of 400 billion in our Milky Way galaxy. Most of these stars have their own planets, and potentially planets with life or civilisations.
The stars move together in a great, slow spiral around a ‘supermassive’ black hole, over 4.5 million times as massive as our Sun.
Far distant from our Milky Way are 1 trillion other galaxies in the universe moving in great, slow formations.
With all this space, the universe must be full of the wonders beyond what we can imagine.