The Space Between Us
Beyond the blue marble
Our new Solar System capsule goes beyond planet Earth to draw inspiration from the wider planetary network that, with the sun at its centre, forms our unique corner of the Milky Way galaxy.
Formed 4.6 billion years ago, the solar system is made up of
eight planets that, along with dozens of moons and countless other celestial bodies, orbit and are bound to our sun.
The gravitational push and pull of each planet are vital to
the Solar System. Earth may be the only planet that supports life, but without
the influence of other seven – and the moons that orbit them – the delicate balance that allows would be impossible.
How is everything in our universe interconnected?
At PANGAIA, our desire to create an Earth-positive future comes from the understanding that everything on our planet is aligned. On a universal scale, that same crucial interconnection remains.
The particles inside us and every living thing on our planet were formed in stars, many of them billions of years ago. We are – quite literally – stardust.
‘The cosmos is within us… We are a way for the universe to know itself,’ said astronomer Carl Sagan of this fact. We would in turn argue that – by understanding that everything within it is connected and interlinked – the universe is a way for us to know ourselves.
Earth: Home, Sweet, Home
The fifth largest planet in the Solar System, at roughly 93 million miles distance, Earth is the third planet from the sun.
That distance, combined with Earth’s special atmosphere and balance of chemical ingredients, such as carbon and water, protects it from harmful radiation and allows it to sustain life.
The Earth is roughly 70% water – about the same amount that makes up our bodies. It is the only planet in the Solar System with surface water.
Earth earned its nickname ‘The Blue Marble’ from a photograph taken on the Apollo 17 mission to the Moon in 1972. Its depiction of our fragile, precious Earth suspended in space became symbolic of the need to care for our planet and is the most reproduced photograph in history.
Moon: the Ruler of Emotions
There are more than 200 moons in orbit in our solar system. The Earth’s is the fifth largest and our planet’s only natural satellite. It orbits at a distance of roughly 240,000 miles from Earth.
The gravitational pull our moon exerts helps to stabilise Earth’s axis and moderates our climate. A Moon year (the amount of time it takes to complete a full rotation around our planet) is 27 Earth days.
Because the Moon and Earth are ‘tidally locked’, we only see ever one side of it (though this appears ‘upside down’ when viewed from the Southern Hemisphere).
While the Sun is roughly 400 times the size of the moon, it’s also about 400 times further away, which makes them appear roughly the same size from Earth. That trick in perspective creates visual phenomena of an eclipse.
Mars: the Planet of Action
The so-called ‘Red Planet’ is, at 138.5 million miles away,
the fourth from the sun in our solar system and the most ‘Earth-like’.
Mars gets its nickname from iron minerals in its soil that
‘rust’ in its atmosphere, making its terrain and sky appear red. In fact, close-up Mars is closer in color to butterscotch.
Is there life on Mars? The question, more relevantly, might be: Was there life on Mars? Information gathered by rovers sent to search the planet’s surface suggest that billions of years ago Mars was warmer and wetter, with an atmosphere that might – just might – have once been able to support life.