Exactly how unusual is our Solar System?

There is only one Superman. One Wonder Woman, one Captain America, one Ironman. All told, a few dozen superheroes. And billions of superhero fans. What about our Solar System? Are we one-in-a-million like Batman? Or a dime-a-dozen like Batman’s fans? How unique, how special is our Solar System? For the first time in human history,…

No livable planets without life

Life is caught in a chicken-and-egg situation. For life to exist on a planet, the planet must of course have the right conditions for life. The planet must be habitable. But a planet’s habitability depends in large part on whether it already has life. It’s a lot easier for a planet with life to be habitable. So a planet needs life to be able to host life….

Planet Nine from Outer Space!

This post could also be titled: How blogging and social media help make science happen. Here is the story.  Planet Nine was conjectured in late January 2016. In February 2016 I started to think about where Planet Nine may have come from. This led to 3 blog posts, each exploring a different origins story for…