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    Space has been known as the final frontier for mankind for thousands of years even though the phrase may not have been coined given the many unknowns that it presents.

    From as far back as pre-Christian times many of the planets and objects in the solar system were observed and recorded by people who assigned attributes and traits to the objects they perceived in the sky.

    Today we do not have to guess as much about what makes up the solar system given that we have the technology to explore the solar system and its planets in great detail; however the ability to do so has still not answered every question.

    Science theorises that the Earth is the result of a solar nebula that collapsed upon the formation of the sun which actually resulted in the formation of the entire solar system.

    The solar system that resulted that the earth is found in currently holds eight planets, a few dwarf planets, and two smaller bodies known as the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt.

    The eight planets that make up the solar system are Venus, Mars, Earth, Mercury, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn.  The first four are currently referred to as the inner belt of planets and are made of solid rock while the latter four are known as gas planets and are made up mostly of a mix of hydrogen and helium with a liquid metallic hydrogen core.

    Pluto is also considered to be a planet by some although officially in 2006 it was named a dwarf planet and is now not officially recognized as a planet in the solar system due to its erratic orbit and small statute.

    Two questions about the solar system that are at the centre of many scientific and theological debates are: is there life outside of earth, and how did the earth form?

    Scientifically, the earth is the result of the collapse and formed slowly over time as gases combined to form an atmosphere that was suitable for life.  Over time, life itself is thought to have evolved on earth as mammals grew more sophisticated and adapted to their surroundings.

    Scientists do not believe that there is life outside of the Earth or at least not within our solar system after careful exploration although they do believe that Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa may have hosted life forms in the past.  Today the only life forms that are present outside of the earth are considered to be microbes which are the most basic bacteria life form that is present.

    Despite the lack of evidence that there is life in space, scientists use the information from other planets that may have held life in the past to judge the evolution of the earth and to look for clues about how life may have originally formed on the earth.