Guest post by Jennie: What's the most interesting place in the solar system?

Here's a response to my call for guest articles in this post. This one is from Jennie, who's a teacher and a singer with Chimes at Midnight, and an astronomer only by interest rather than qualification: It's this type of guest post I'm hoping to attract with the most interesting series, so please follow Jennie's lead, get cracking, and get in touch! is an interesting question and one which has had me pondering. Consequently this post will be a train of thought, I hope you can follow it!

My immediate reaction was Earth. Our planet. The crystal blue orb, a jewel in the skies, and how cruel, that we, being on it, don’t get to enjoy its distant beauty. But what we do get is a planet so utterly complex and astounding that not only does it harbour the only life that we know of, but also has such vast differences of landscape all on one tiny planet.

It never fails to amaze me how humans forget to stop and appreciate the fascinations of our world, big or small...the perfect balance that sustains us, and nurtures our survival. Every flower, insect and stream has a part to play in the delicate cycle of life. Even the natural disasters which cause suffering to so many, are all still part of our living planet, and a reminder that we are not in charge. What a privilege to live in such an amazing place.

My thoughts then turned to the bodies in the solar system which support our earth and without which our world would not remain balanced, and we could not live.

The moon has to be the celestial body which has most intrigued humans for the longest. Way back into the mists of time, she was believed to be a goddess. And so she is. The moon is a thing of ethereal beauty, the ruler of our night. Embedded in our folklore and even our language; once in a blue moon, myths and legends of mystical creatures ruled by the moon, harvest moon; she is part of our psyche.

Who can fail to be moved by the sight of a huge full moon? And yet it is also so integral to the life and rhythms of our planet, even to the rhythms of human life. But I will leave the technicalities of gravity and tides (and menstrual cycles) to TeaKay!

Then of course I could not help but think that the solar system would be fairly pointless without the solar bit! Without the sun, the planets would fail to be where they are, and our beautiful planet would not be able to sustain life at all. As with the moon, humans have long revered its power and worshipped it as a god due to its importance in the turning of our seasons, and our basic need for light and warmth to make crops grow. We enjoy its warming touch, and revel in the long summer days, while always respecting its ferocity. Its beauty is unsurpassed, yet we must not look at ironic!

Being very human, and as such very introspective and selfish, for me the most interesting parts of our solar system are the ones which touch my life most directly.

And yet my eyes still go to the skies, and look beyond...

Thanks, Jennie! As for the rest of you; what do you think is the most interesting thing in our solar system? Write me a guest post explaining what and why, and I'll host it here: I want to hear from YOU. I'll post everyone's under the tag 'most interesting', and you can read the original post here.


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