Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Earth's moon may be connected to emergence of life

Earth's rotation has quietly been stabilized by our enormous moon, which may have made it easier for life to emerge since potential climactic swings were kept in check (New Scientist). Pound360 wonders if the moon may have attracted and cleared out some meteors, comets or other material that would have cause trouble for life on Earth.

Who cares? This "has important consequences for the search for life on other planets." In addition to scouring the
habitable zones of stars similar to our Sun, perhaps we need to be looking for planets with relatively large moons.

By the way, the New Scientist piece referenced here is part of their special "
Unknown Solar System" report. Specifically, the section, "Why are the sun and moon the same size in the sky?" Have you ever noticed that? Pound360 admits we had not. But it makes sense. Consider a solar eclipse.

(Image by
*L*u*z*a* via Flickr)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.