Are we alone in the Universe?
After 5 billion years of solitude,
Are we really alone?
For the first time in human history we are getting the non-religious answer:
Nope. We can’t be.
Here’s the math:
- 100 billion planets in the Milky Way (conservatively speaking; it is probably four times that)
- Of that, astronomers estimate 50 billion would be rocky worlds in some way similar to Earth (or four times that)
- 1/10th of 1% of these = 50 million that might be water worlds (or four times… oh, you get the idea)
- Too much? Ok, cut it to 1/100 of 1% of 50 billion. That’s still a whopping 5 million
Five million Earths.
Maybe more. Maybe a lot more.
So, no. We’re not alone.
I’m just afraid of one thing: That we’re maybe the galaxy’s cockroaches, and the 5 million of our neighbors are one giant Orkin fleet with really big flyswatters.
I’ve been reading science fiction since I was in the 5th grade, and have been a total space geek. I read this book a while ago, but since then there have been some radical discoveries with Keppler that have changed things. A lot.
It’s now very plausible, if not highly probable– no, it’s definite–that there are a Kirk-load of planets very much like Earth.
This means there must be others. Like us, or very, very, very different. But others. Bet you (one of you) $5.
But why does that not make me feel good? I do not feel good. And I watched ET and everything.
* 5 Billion Years of Solitude,
By Lee Billings