Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Greener Pastures: Goldilocks, Billy Goats Gruff and Exoplanets Oil on linen 60 x 60 cm 2014

Greener Pastures
Billy Goats Gruff
The story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff  was read to me when I was little. Lots of fables and stories were read to me by my Mum. Some I remember really well and some I don't. Billy Goats Gruff  is one that I remember. Three goats see greener pastures on the other side of a bridge. They have greedily eaten all the food on their side, so they decide to be brave and cross the bridge. But a hungry and wicked troll lives under the bridge, ready to attack anyone who wants to pass over. The troll is tricked into letting the two smaller goats cross, but attacks the third and larger goat, who is very strong and manages to toss the troll into the water. The three goats apparently live happily ever after.


I wonder if they did.

What if they were greedy again and ate all the food in their new pastures? If others could peacefully cross the bridge, did the goats share? If others successfully joined the goats did they develop systems to sustain the green pastures of food?

Goldilocks and Potential Earth-Like Planets
In recent years astronomers have found a number of potential Earth-like planets in other solar systems. Yes, possibly humans could survive on these planets! That's once we work out how to get there! 

Another old story, also read to me by my Mum, is often used to metaphorically describe these newly discovered potentially habitable planets. This story is Goldilocks and The Three Bears. Goldilocks goes for a walk in the forest and discovers a quaint little cottage. The owners, Papa, Mama and Baby Bear, have gone for a walk and left their breakfast porridge to cool down. Even though no-one is home Goldilocks enters the cottage. She discovers the bowls of porridge. She tries each one, Papa Bear's is too hot, Mama Bear's is too cold, but Baby Bear's porridge is just right. Goldilocks goes onto try the bears' chairs and beds too and is found by the bears sleeping in Baby bear's 'just right' bed.

Astronomers and cosmologists describe potentially habitable planets as existing in the 'Goldilocks Zone' of stars...that's not too hot nor too cold, it's 'just right'! Thus, maybe there is water and all sorts of other things that would please our hearts, lungs and stomachs! Some of these planets have even been described as possibly being super-habitable ie: even more abundant than Earth. Please read my earlier post called New World Habitability: Vacation Anyone? for more ideas and links on super-habitability...and even plain ordinary habitability!
New World Habitability - Vacation Anyone? oil on linen 70 x 102 cm 2014

Obviously our Earth exists in the 'Goldilocks Zone' of our sun. It's been 'just right' for a long time! Can it last? Well no...because the demise of our Sun in around 4 billion years will obviously have serious implications for the entire solar system! But, what can we do in the meantime?

Just as the Billy Goats gruff spied greener pastures we humans think we may have too. However, there are two BUTS. One is, are we like the goats and greedily consuming our way through Earth's natural resources, thus hastening the need to find another 'home', before we are really ready to conquer the quest of getting there? And, the second BUT is - the 'bridge' we need to 'cross' is outstandingly more convoluted and difficult than the one the goats had to cross! Time and space are incredibly complex issues....


New Painting Above Greener Pastures
The green circle could be a planet...maybe another habitable planet, but possibly even Earth? The green circle pulses against the red and hot surrounding environment which suggests a few things ranging from danger, to passion, to potency, fertility, heat, fire...across time and space....the 'bridge'.


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