FROM THE EDITOR
There are many reasons why people are fascinated by the search for other life–supporting planets: the thought of outlandish alien life forms, the idea of intergalactic travel, spacesuit fetishes… But the primary reason why this search is so tantalising is that planets that harbour complex life are, most probably, rare. Yet here we all are, living on one.
For me, the most profound image in this issue is NASA’s “Blue Marble”, featured on page 112. This picture touches something deep in our psyche, waking us up to the unique and complex beauty of our Mother Earth.
From this remarkable blue and green planet, many millions of interconnected species have been brought into existence; so many are as yet unknown to science, and a lot of them are more wild and exciting than anything a science fiction writer could conjure up.
We are spending vast resources on investigating ways to get to and colonise Mars, but wouldn’t these efforts be better directed towards protecting the rare life-support system that we already call home?