Joined: Mar. 2005
|Quote (OgreMkV @ Nov. 05 2009,12:31)|
|From the "privileged planet" website|
Q #1: Is the fact that we can see "perfect" solar eclipses related to our existence?
A: The Earth's surface provides the best view of solar eclipses in the Solar System. The Earth's surface is also the most habitable place in the Solar System. Is this coincidence just that? In The Privileged Planet, we argue that it isn't. The conditions that make a planet habitable also make its inhabitants more likely to see solar eclipses.
The authors mistake cause and effect. The causes of a solar ecplise somehow cause life. At this point, this isn't testable because we don't have anything to compare our planet to. I would however, be perfectly willing to argue that the moon of a gas giant would be even more 'safe' for any potential inhabitants than our planet.
As I understand it, 3-4 billion years ago the moon was much closer to Earth than it is now. But that was presumably before there was anybody on the planet to care that the corona was visible only momentarily at the start and again at the end of the eclipse.
Also, the moon is still moving away, so in several million years there won't be total eclipses at all (the moon will at that point only blot out a circular piece of the sun). Will that cause Earth to become uninhabitable?