Some earth-shattering facts!

Planet Earth as seen from Apollo 17 (Home Sweet Home!)

My first degree was in Philosophy – and I’ve never quite given up the habit. Aside from reading (and writing!!) works of fiction, I still read plenty of factual books…usually at night before putting the light out…often causing me to lie awake contemplating what I’ve just read and ending up with a bad case of insomnia! Hey ho! A small price to pay for spiritual and intellectual enlightenment, I s’pose! Anyway, just lately I’ve been reading a fair amount on the fascinating topic of cosmology… so I thought I’d share a few earth-shattering (ho ho!) facts on this here blog.

The surface of Mars (*sings: Is there life on Mars?!)


Where cosmology meets philosophy/science/religion seems to be the outer limits of our knowledge as a species in this very early part of the 21st century. I suspect that somewhere within the confluence of these arcane and esoteric disciplines is the elusive ‘meaning of life’ – or as close to it as we’re likely to get (…beyond the now de rigeur answer of ‘42’, that is!)

The Moon (As a ruling planet!)


Anyway, amigos…ponder these facts (…and their implications):

The Universe has existed for 13.7 billion years. The solar system (containing the Earth) formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago. It took 200 million years to form planet Earth. The average life span of a species (before extinction) on Earth is 4 million years. Even a relatively long single human life lasts only for a total of around 650,000 hours. We are each of us less than a blink of the eye in the history of our Universe – or indeed that of our home planet. Use your hours wisely my friends!

The relative size of Earth-Saturn. (We are tiny, folks!)

The Universe is rather big. All the visible matter in our solar system (the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the other planets, the asteroid belt etc) occupies less than one trillionth of the available space.

The average distance between stars in the Universe is over 30 million million kilometres; if you were somehow able to ‘star-hop’ your way across the cosmos…it would take you longer to reach the centre of our galaxy than we (humanity) have existed as a species.

Given the size of the Universe, if you were randomly dropped into it…the chances of you landing on a planet (any planet!) would be less than one in a billion trillion. There is a lot of space in…er…Space!

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars (A line-up of true stars!)

The Earth weighs approximately six billion trillion metric tons. (One metric ton = 1,000 kilos). 99.9% of the mass of our solar system was used to make the Sun. Everything else formed from colliding microscopic dust particles.

The speed at which the Earth spins varies depending on your location. Here in London I am spinning at 998 kmh. Folks at the Equator are spinning at 1,600 kmh.

An asteroid. (If one of these hits us, we're in trouble!)

The Universe is expanding…BUT…expanding into what?! We simply don’t know! And as for WHY!……..

Infrared view of the core of the Milky Way (Perfect abstract art)

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2 Responses to Some earth-shattering facts!

  1. Poppet says:

    hmmmmm…. hmmmm… I did not know you were into cosmology. You should check out the books under the interview section of my blog with Hilton Ratcliffe. I think you may enjoy books like his too. *nods*

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