A FINELY TUNED SOLAR SYSTEM
Copernicus’s theory that Earth revolved around the Sun, seemed to relegate our planet to an ordinary status in the universe. However, if Earth was the center of our solar system, as Ptolemy and 16th century Catholic Church leaders had taught, we wouldn’t be here. None of them, including Copernicus, knew that in order for human life to be possible, Earth needs to revolve around a Sun that has just the right size, location, and conditions as ours does.
But that is not all. We need other planets such as Jupiter and Mars to act as defense shields, protecting us from a potential catastrophic bombardment of comets and meteors. We also need a moon of just the right size and position to impact our tides and seasons. Let’s take a look at just a few of the many conditions in our solar system that are just right for life.
The Sun’s distance from the center of the galaxy. Our Sun is positioned thousands of light-years from the center of the Milky Way, near one of its spiral arms.13 This is the safest part of the galaxy, away from its highly radioactive center.
The Sun’s mass not too large. If the mass of the Sun were a small percentage greater, it would burn too quickly and erratically to support life.
The Sun’s mass not too small. On the other hand, if it were smaller, its greater flaring would disrupt Earth’s rotation rate.
The Sun’s metal content. Only two percent of all stars have enough metal content to form planets. Too much metal in a star will allow too many planets to form, creating chaos. Our Sun has just the right amount of metal for planets to form safely.
Effect of the Moon. The Moon stabilizes the Earth’s tilt and is responsible for our seasons. If it weren’t there, our tilt could swing widely over a large range, making our winters a hundred degrees colder and our summers a hundred degrees warmer.
When astronomers consider our remarkable solar system, they acknowledge that if it was slightly different, advanced biological life would be impossible. But it is not enough to have the right universe, galaxy, and solar system for human life to be possible. The conditions of our home planet must also be fine-tuned to a razor’s edge.
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