I have just finished watching ‘The Wonders of the Solar System’. The host, Professor Brian Cox, does an exceptional job of sharing his sense of wonder and amazement at not just the galaxy we live in, but what is all around us on Earth.
The final episode was entitled ‘Aliens’, and focused on what conditions support life. Basically, you need heat, water and the items on your Periodic Table. Have one of these missing, and life won’t grow. It really was amazing how so many different forms of life exist on our planet, and the crazy differences in the climates they exist in. Life exists in dark worlds with atmospheric pressures higher than that on the Venusian surface (90 times that of Earth), and also in places where the air that would kill humans is an organism’s food source. Nasty places for us, yet you will find life there.
And to really drive it home, it is shown that such climates also exist on the planets and moons sharing our humble little corner of the Universe. The first and second moons from Jupiter, Io and Europa, are close neighbours yet complete polar opposites. Io is a world of almost constant volcanic activity, while the other is an ice world with strong evidence of a vast ocean under its surface.
Such possibilities are helping mould one of the underlying ideas to my story. It can be summed up in four words.
Life finds a way.
Proof of that is rampantly obvious wherever you look on Earth. All forms of life, from humans to animals to insects to bacteria, are products of many years of exposure to their environments. Given the time to do so, life will try and try again until it finds a way to survive. It is the epitome of evolution, and survival of the fittest.
And, most importantly, it gives us such an amazing array of life to marvel at.