The search for life in outer space has been speculated about forever. People have reported chariots in the sky and flying saucers. Everyone on Earth has an interest in life on other planets and why shouldn’t we. We look out at the wide blue sky and know we have millions of stars and planets circling around us. How could it be possible that we are the only intelligent life in existence?
Discovery of the simplest life form on a planet in outer space would be dramatic but imagine finding a form of intelligent life. That might not happen in the near future but given the giant leap in our capability to find Earth-like planets, it will eventually happen. We now have the Kepler telescope that can monitor simultaneously 100,000 stars and look for the faint signal that reveals an orbiting planet. Mind boggling for we earth bound humans to say the least.
Image via Wikipedia
The Kepler telescope was named for Johannes Kepler, a mathematician living in Prague who wrote “Astronomia Nova,” a tract that laid out the fundamental laws governing the movement of planets. Kepler is the first telescope to be designed to discover Earth sized planets that orbit the “habitable zone” where temperatures are neither too hot or too cold for water to remain in its liquid state.
Galileo Galileo was the first person to use an astronomical telescope. He wrote in “Starry Messenger” All disputes which have tormented philosophers through the ages are exploded at once by the irrefragable evidence of our eyes. With Galileo’s discoveries, the religious dogma that all the heavens revolved around the earth became increasingly difficult to believe.
Now, we know that the Earth is a small planet circling a minor sun on the edge of an estimated 125 billion galaxies. And out in space are a thousand billion suns that may have planets supporting life. Wouldn’t we be ridiculous to think there aren’t thousands of planets that have life and probably many more advanced forms of life than the human life we know. How disappointing to know we won’t be around to experience the thrill when real exploration of outer space begins.
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