Are the Planets Inhabited?

Author :E. Walter Maunder

Category : Home

ISBN No :

Language :English

Formats: ePub



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The only beings, then, the presence of which would justify us in regarding another world as "inhabited" are such as would justify us in applying that term to a part of our own world. They must possess intelligence and consciousness on the one hand; on the other, they must likewise have corporeal form. True, the form might be imagined as different from that we possess; but, as with ourselves, the intelligent spirit must be lodged in and expressed by a living material body. Our enquiry is thus rendered a physical one; it is the necessities of the living body that must guide us in it; a world unsuited for living organisms is not, in the sense of this enquiry, a "habitable" world. The problem therefore seems not to be theological or metaphysical, but purely physical. We have simply to ask with regard to each heavenly body which we pass in review:

Edward Walter Maunder was born in 1851, in London, the youngest child of a minister of the Wesleyan Society. He attended King's College London but never graduated. He took a job in a London bank to finance his studies.

In 1873 Maunder returned to the Royal Observatory, taking a position as a spectroscopic assistant. Shortly after, in 1875, he married Edith Hannah Bustin, who gave birth to six children, 3 sons, 2 daughters and a son who died in infancy.[1] Following the death of Edith in 1888, he met Annie Scott Dill Russell (1868–1947) in 1890, a mathematician and astronomer with whom he collaborated for the remainder of his life. In 1895 Maunder and Russell married. In 1916 Annie Maunder became one of the first women accepted by the Royal Astronomical Society.

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