This twenty-five minute video clip has just turned my world upside down.
In one of my earliest posts on this blog, way back in 2007, I marvelled at the splendour of the night sky, and concluded that with so very many stars in the universe, the chances that we’re all alone must be vanishingly small.
Watching that video above makes me realize that I was probably wrong about that. Almost all, if not all, of those stars I saw that night are nowhere near anything like our own sun. But it gets worse: it turns out that our sun itself appears to be exceptional, even among its own kind (G-type dwarfs). Possibly only about one half of one percent of stars are like our own.
For intelligent life (as we know it) such as us to exist, we need the following recipe:
- A star that’s like ours
- An Earth-like planet orbiting in the goldilocks zone which features:
- liquid water
- a molten core (necessary for the magnetosphere, which protects us from cosmic rays)
- a large moon at just the right distance to stabilize the planet’s tilt (assuming that it has one) and provide regular seasons
Clearly, that’s not an exclusive list.
According to a recent study by Eric Zackrisson, there may be around 700 quintillion planets in the universe. That’s 700,000,000,000,000,000,000. But the study suggests that, of these, ours may be unique.
All of which says to me that homo fatuus brutus, as the de facto stewards of this planet, needs to learn how to pull together to ensure the continuation of a healthy home (instead of doing what we’re doing at the moment, which is destroying it).
H/T to The Extinction Protocol.