Atmosphere

The Search for Life on the Inner Planets

Note: I have been convinced for some time now that the best descriptions of contemporary life are in Speculative Fiction. Here’s a first attempt at bringing them out of fiction into the nonfiction world they do a better job of describing than the nonfiction traditions given that task. If I’m right, then this is what life on an exotic planet looks like …

system2

 

Exotic Planetary Energy Structure

(aka mud puddle in the late winter)

 

Mars is a great place to look for life, but, you know, it’s not the only exotic planet orbiting close to the sun. Here is some molten (and refrozen) comet that has acclimatized to a little planet I know.

swoopiceComet Masquerading as a Mud Puddle…

…transfixed by the energy transfer created by turning to ice.

And here it is a few days later, as the planet tips just a little closer to the sun …

P1220558Single Cellular and Multi-Cellular Bubbles of Algal Breath …

…suspended in molten comet. The angles of the ice above are absorbed into surface tension now.

It’s not hard to get the suspicion that life on this planet takes on the characteristics of water, and came from it. And what of the planet that lies beneath all these molten comets? Ah, here she is …

P1220792

Chunk of Seabed at 550 Metres Above Current Sea Level, Covered with Comet Children (aka Sage Brush) …

…and gouged out by the roots of comet children, too.

And how did that seabed get there? Ah, it settled down through a big sea of molten comets, and then got pushed up into the sky by, basically, the heat of the earth. Here is a life form (a complex, self-sustaining chemical reaction) that left the sea a long time ago to “live” in this alien atmosphere by carrying the sea within it…

P1220813Lichen: Fungus and Algae Colonizing the Poisonous Air Together

If you want to travel into space, the earth’s way is to be the comet you are.

One of the advantages of this kind of space travel is that you can be spread by the flow of water drawn by gravity and can thrive in the very localized heat on surfaces, and, what’s more, once you have internalized that sun (as well as the ocean on land lifted by the heat of the earth), the big starships can come …

waspMid-Winter Wasp, Foraging Bella Vista

This close to the rock, of course, it’s not winter at all. Many of these lichens have already finished their growth for the year and are returning to dormancy now. This wasp was very focussed.

Let’s be very clear what we’re looking at here. We are looking at chemical reactions taking place on condensed star dust seeded with comet water and heated, or cooked by gravity and the sun. Sometimes, like today, this kind of pan-solar-system process looks like this …

lrg2

Outer Solar System Water Still Carrying its Energy Forward After All These Years

(A chigger, or mite, looking for a mammal to bite — that is, waiting to feast on a creature that moves around by the trick of pumping warm comet water through its veins, which contains, in turn, a dissolved atmosphere.)

Once a comet has reached that stage of sophistication, there’s no telling where things will go …

move

Comet on the Move Above the Sleeping Mites

With a big eye for seeing in the dark.

Trillions of dollars get spent to send into space creatures that have evolved for getting around on the earth, which is all backwards. The creatures I’ve shown you here, which exist in the space of the universe (which are, in other words, successful space creatures), have internalized the collision between comets and rock. They carry it around with them or hitch a ride on others who have. They all achieve immortality through sexual reproduction, not through individual survival. They utilize tiny heat differences on the surface of uplifted seabeds and sometimes kick around old ocean floors with their feet, whooha …

P1220863

Old Ocean Floor Broken Off by the Freezing Action of Comets…

… and kicked off by deer on their major trail off of the mountain to the cedar hedges down below. Hence the hurry. Mmmmmm!

If humans wish to explore the solar system without developing more and more aggressive technologies expensive to the planet’s survival as an organic, living creature, I advise beginning to think like comets, like water, and like the creatures who have learned to spread organically. Thinking like gadgets will bring only gadgets. At the moment, space travel is thinking like this:

grace

Canada Geese That Have Gotten Out of the Habit of Migrating …

… and so circle around and around and around, honking, and filling the beaches with muck.

Maybe space explorers should be thinking of starting with the first steps out of the seas and moving through space like water, or like spores caught on water. Instead of sending out expensive probes, perhaps NASA should be sending out tiny objects that can be picked up by comets and carried rapidly to the edge of the stars, where they will come together in complex communities. If life can drift on the wind of the sun, so can technology.  If no one knows how to do that, it’s not for a lack of examples.

P1220284Lichen and Agate, Turtle Mountain

 If life can grow in complexity from the bonds between (and within) water molecules, and then spread without any propulsion of its own but in the gravity caught by water and moving in its forms, so can technology.

P1220452Moss Colonies on Cooled ʻAʻā Lava, Turtle Mountain …

… brought comet water by gravity, and spread by it too.

It’s time to start thinking like the space creatures we are and not like fictional Sci-fi characters putting all their energy into selling off the planet of which they are a part as if they had the right.

P1220514Current Space Ship Technology, Turtle Mountain

The Earth is for sale by creatures determined to leave it.

We are this planet. It is a creature of the stars. The answer is here.

rising1

 

 

 

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