Many writers have long glorified the drama of human life in the universe and its accompanying cooperation, competition, enslavement, genocide, and wars in the name of conflicting human-generated creeds. Much less concern has been given to the platform on which the drama is staged. Let us consider some characteristics of the stage.
Earth is the third of eight planets in near-circular orbit around the sun. It rotates on its axis once a day and revolves around the sun once a year. The sun and planets, along with smaller asteroids, constitute the solar system.