The Universe and Galaxies: THE SOLAR SYSTEM

Discovery Space: THE SOLAR SYSTEM

Advances in space travel have changed the way we have come to see the Earth, its neighboring planets, and the universe as a whole. Thanks to space probes we can now more thoroughly explore our solar system, which is governed by the sun’s energy. The sun forces planets and other celestial bodies into specific orbits and pro- vides light and heat energy to the cold universe.

Nevertheless, most regions of the solar system are rather inhospitable and Earth seems to be the only planet with such a vast richness of life. Other celestial bodies, how-ever, may at least be a habitat for microorganisms. A long time ago, the sun—a stable star—formed from the same gaseous dust cloud as its surrounding planets.

This process is not unique; other planets have been dis-covered in the vicinity of such stars. They may also show signs of life—the search has only just begun.