We May or May Not Be Alone

July 7, 2017

Launched in 2009, the Kepler Space Telescope went into forced retirement in 2018, when its reactor ran out of fuel. Its purpose was to search for planets outside our solar system, and it found a slew of them over its lifetime. To be exact, it is reported Kepler located 2662 planets among half a million stars surveyed, but astronomers and astrophysicists still are poring over the satellite telescope’s multitudinous data. In fact, a team of astronomers from the University of British Columbia has crunched the numbers from Kepler (and made not a few assumptions) and come to the conclusion there could be six billion earth-like planets among the 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. This is a scientific extrapolation of the information available, of course. The empirical evidence only suggests the possibility. You might call it a wild-ass guess, but I wouldn’t. Admittedly, I know nothing about the scientists’ methodology or their information and wouldn’t understand it if it were explained to me. However, their conclusions seem perfectly logical and plausible to me. It supports what every kid who’s looked up at the night sky has thought.

22 thoughts on “We May or May Not Be Alone”

  1. I posted this on yesterday’s blog post:

    Today’s strip (6/17/20) reminded me that years ago Ted Nugent’s wife was interested in writing a novel and asked my wife for advice. She was pleasant and my wife and her traded a few letters and phone calls. That Christmas we got the Nugent Christmas card, which included a picture of the family. Living in Michigan, I decided to show it to the Engineers that I called on and they were incredibly excited and impressed. This was before he became more widely known for his politics…

  2. As far as today’s retro strip, I never appreciated the nighttime sky growing up. There was no light pollution as we live around farmland. When I moved to the urban areas, I didn’t realize what I was missing until we went up to Northern Michigan and saw the Milky Way as well as a meteor shower.

    I like the line from Contact “The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.” Although it is mind boggling that there is only one unique me.

    • Except, Steve, if you exist in some of the posited “brane” universes throughout the “bulk” then you may only be unique in this one on a quantum level. 🙂

  3. I find it interesting that some scientists are now opining that we might very well be alone in the universe.

    Myself, I hope that at least one or two Earth-like planets out there not only have life but also have beings that are more intelligent than we.

  4. From “Balm Threat” on Twitter: My 72 year-old mother just informed me she is going to her first “sex party” and doesn’t know what to bring.
    After some delicate questioning, “Gender Reveal, Mom. It’s called a Gender Reveal.
    h/t Tamera Keel

  5. Politics. Sigh.
    The bumper sticker on my truck says “Its Not Left Versus Right, Its The State Versus You.
    Thats about all the politics that count. I hope that I live long enough to see the majority of my fellow humans come to realize that.
    Then maybe our species can get about the business of evolving into what we could be.

    The only problem with alien visitations and space travel is that half the people in the world still think that the world is flat, man never went to the moon and the government told the truth about 911. If aliens made contact half the people would make them gods (like they do their politicians) and the other half would be trying to kill them.

    I have avoided much of the news and have fallen way behind on my podcasts in the past few days and have been reading every single A and J strip from the beginning.
    I felt that I needed a little break from the negativity and the propaganda. Plus I have a particular strip that I am seeking. Haven’t found it yet and I’m almost to 2004. But I shall not give up my quest. I will share it with you when I find it again.
    I have to report that by spending all my spare internet time to reading old Arlo strips instead of paying attention to the antics of the frantic, my spirits have improved markedly. And after squirting my wife with the hose when she was smoking her ciggy butt outside the office, I think my mischievous side might be resurfacing. Poor Jen.
    Leave it to JJ to cheer me up while reconfirming all my paranoias.

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