If you ask 10 people how and why we're alive here, on this rock that was once dust circling a very young star, you'd get 10 different answers. One fact cannot be disputed: Life should NOT be able to thrive here. We're too close to a star, middle-aged but very potent, throwing off super-solar storms of radiation continually. Right now, hundreds of billions of cosmic rays are penetrating your thumbnail. Our bodies are exposed to toxic cosmic rays from our star, the sun, all day, all night, all the time, all these years we've been in existence. Not just us: ALL LIFE.
So: Life shouldn't exist here in Earth, it's bombarded by radiation. Look at these sun-spots, they are causal to solar flares and our weather. Dangerous emissions of radiation. It makes you wonder, once again, about life itself - is it a fluke, following no blueprint but it's own DNA, a mutation of the evolution of our galaxy?
What protects life here is our Magnetosphere. You can see the solar winds in this picture hitting our EMF or electro-magnetic field which protects us in layers, sending the majority of cosmic radiation out and around us. So again, our sun, this close star, can eradicate a world. But a combination of many things keeps us from looking like Mars.
So let's look at Mars. I chose this picture because of the amazing mountain range shaped like a human face, but of course, re-shaped with the shadows. Anyway, Mars has no atmosphere because the Sun ripped it away. Mars has no magnetosphere. Our star destroyed it, radiated the planet, yet we've managed to get there using incredibly intelligent "scientist robots" and many cosmologists know we can colonize Mars. I'm off topic:
Sol, our star, the sun, has a corona surrounding it and expanding out into space about 100 millions miles. In that corona exists something called CME (Coronal Mass Emissions) which are exactly what they sound like. Hugh ejections of solar radiation, flares, prominences, SUPER storms, SUPER flares, just a mind-numbing amount of power - which we should be using more to our advantage. Also, it's the reason the outer sun is hotter than the inner. Sun-spots affect flares and prominences too. The first picture in this post is a real picture of prominences jetting hundreds of thousands of miles into the corona then falling back into the sun.
The Sun has it's own Electro-magnetic field too, and a great amount of gravity, enough to keep all the planets in orbit. When an object like an asteroid from between Mars and Jupiter is bumped out of orbit, it careens out and DOWN, following gravitational pull, and we see alot as "shooting stars" but I assure you they are FAR from stars. If they were, they'd burn us up into a cinder.
By the by, every picture here that looks obviously real, is.
So the next time you wish upon a star, why not make it the one you know best? Our Sun.
Note: Click here for "Our Unquiet Sun" and alot of great pix