When it comes to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, Is the Universe “a lot of wasted space”?

A rendering of Kepler 62f and two outer planets, which may lie in a habitable zone where liquid water could exist on the surface.

A rendering of Kepler 62f and two outer planets, which may lie in a habitable zone where liquid water could exist on the surface.

About 10 months ago we discussed an article from the Guardian on the discovery of a planet that could possibly support life.

“A planet with conditions that could support life orbits a twin neighbour of the sun visible to the naked eye, scientists have revealed. The world is one of five thought to be circling Tau Ceti, a star just 12 light years away that is almost identical to the sun.”  https://alexmcmanus.org/2012/12/19/anotherearth/

This month’s New York Times reports:

“Astronomers reported that there could be as many as 40 billion habitable Earth-size planets in the galaxy.”

In the movie Contact, Jodie Foster plays Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway, a SETI scientist who finds strong evidence of extraterrestrial life. Foster’s character suggests that if there is no other life out there in the universe, that it seems like an awful waste of space.

As you consider the night sky, do you resonate with Foster’s character? Are we the only ones to turn on a lightbulb in the universe? Or are we one of many? When it comes to habitable earth-size planets, it seems that number just got larger. God, I love this universe.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/science/cosmic-census-finds-billions-of-planets-that-could-be-like-earth.html?_r=2&

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