My inability to take flight and leave the earth behind to explore the magic of the solar system in person frustrates sometimes. Science is developing fast, but not as fast as I am ageing, but things like manned landings on Mars will not occur until I am old, and exploring the stars is a hundred generations away.
As for life, well, I used to be optimistic that we would have proof of life - historic or otherwise - elsewhere in the solar system before 2030, with proof of intelligence external to the solar system within my lifetime. I suppose the former may yet occur, but it seems that there is no sentient life near enough and developed enough for us to have intercepted a signal from.
So, any otherwordly experiences I get are a bonus. Witness these photographs.
It looks as though I'm in orbit over the surface of Europa, swooping down over the surface of the Jovian moon which may yet harbour life in its sub-surface ocean, perhaps congregating around an extraterrestrial version of our white and black smoker colonies many thousands of meters down.
Of course, I'm not. I'm peering over the roof of a Ford Focus in the fierce frost last night. . It's amazing what beauty there can be in the mundane. The near full moon made everything glitter, here it hovers over a church hall roof glazed in ice.
My hands however, were not beautiful this morning. The cold takes a toll on dry skin.