back to article Moon makes us extra special, scientists say

Having a moon like ours makes us very special, cosmically speaking. This is according to proper scientists at the Universities of Arizona and Florida (as opposed to Mystic Meg), who've been searching the universe with the Spitzer space telescope for other planetary systems like ours. The Earth-Moon system is a rarity in the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    So it's like emptying a Dyson cylinder then

    The dust storm from that seems to take about 30 million years to settle.

  2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    As a christian...

    ... I would, of course, love to jump on this as proof that God exists, that the world is designed for us speshul people and that everyone should get down on their knees and beg, BEG for forgiveness for ever doubting that.


    It strikes me that these scientists are making rather firm pronunciations with very little evidence to back it up. So far we've only observed one planetary system with such a planet-moon configuration of the type they're pronouncing on: this one. Ours. Consequently they're working with a very limited set of data and that will inevitably prevent them from forming a rational theory. Basing a theory on a single data point and a few simulations is not science. It's not even a joke.

  3. Steve Skipper


    if you think about it there are a number of things that make this planet "just right" to have life emerge on it, like the large amount of Iron which as well acting as a shield against rays, helped the ocean release oxygen into the atmosphere. And the unusually large moon acted a giant mixing spoon in the primordial soup.

    But that's why we live here on Earth and not on Gamma Hydra 12,400 light years away.

  4. Steve Charlton

    But if it was a Dyson Sphere...

    ... you wouldn't be able to see the stars.

  5. Chris Miller

    Dyson cylinder?

    Is that anything like a Dyson sphere?

  6. Rob Foster

    I agree with the christian...

    Twenty years ago, Mars was a dry dead planet - never had water - nope - absolutely not.

    And now the same scientists are falling over themselves to proclaim their own personal evidence of locations for more water on Mars.

    In all things, the truth is somewhere in the middle and understanding God's ineffable plan from slim data points smacks of religious zealotry, no matter which side you approach it from.

  7. Andy Beamish
    Thumb Up

    Science Fiction becomes Science Fact?

    Isaac Asimov made a central theme to his Foundation series the unique nature of Earth's single, large satellite. Roughly, the theory in the books put forward that radioactive deposits in Earth's crust combined with the Moon's affect on the oceans did speed up the evolution process to a greater extent than the rest of the known universe...

    Oh noes! I shall shurely burn in hell now ;)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To the God-botherer ...

    Anthropic principle?

  9. E


    That is pure speculation, not backed by evidence. 20 yrs ago a lot of astronomers were arguing about whether planets were not extremely rare... now we know gas giants are pretty common. We know almost nothing about distribution of earth-size rocky worlds, much less moon-size worlds, however.

    If two scientists speculated aloud that the moon really is green cheese, just covered in a layer of grey dust, would that be reported as news?

  10. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    @Anthropic principle?

    Not enough data.

    Never enough data. :)

  11. Bytus

    @Chris Miller

    He meant the actual cylinder of a "Dyson" vacuum cleaner.

    Apart from that I agree...a ring is far more pretty, you don't have to worry about artificial gravity and you can see the stars. (Larry FTW ;-)

  12. Charles Manning

    Moon broke off from earth?

    Like most things to do with space, there is no proof that the moon broke off the earth. This is a hypothesis that currently has some popularity. There are other hypotheses too, including the "capture" hypothesis where the moon was formed independently and was captured when it came close to the earth.

    Give it another 20 years and likely other hypotheses will emerge or a different one will become fashionable.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Yes, I did mean the actual cylinder of a non-spherical Dyson

    Sorry for the confusion my wee joke-ette raised.

    I was just referring to that moment when you have to empty your bagless Dyson into your bin and you start realising that this bagless technology is all very well, but if there's even the faintest breeze then all the microscopic dust and house mites that the Dyson has so efficiently collected are about to be instantly transferred to you.

    Sort of like the way planets (and moons) form in space.

    So maybe "God" is just a huge celestial being and the solar system is his wheelie bin and the reason we haven't seen him for a while is that he's still trying to get all that crap out of his jumper.

    And we are therefore made of fluff.

    Blimey, there's a lot to this science stuff isn't there? I think I'll go for a lie down now.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @Steve Charlton

    You should be able to the star in the middle :o)

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