"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Friday, December 3, 2010

In this galaxy...

there’s a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all that, and perhaps more...only one of each of us.

-Dr. McCoy, Star Trek, “Balance of Terror”

Space is a fascinating subject. There are a staggering number of stars. Estimates run between 70 sextillion (a sextillion is a one with 21 zeroes after it) to 3 septillion (a septillion has 24 zeroes). Some astronomers skip the numbers altogether and note that there are more stars than grains of sand on Earth. Others just say a "lot"

On December 1st, the news was that scientists have announced they have discovered there may be up to 3x's as many stars in the universe than previously thought:

Suite 101

ABC News

The sheer number of stars, combined with yesterday's major announcement by NASA that they have, in essence, discovered an alien life form right here on earth is very tantalizing news. To me, the possibility that we are not alone in the universe, in whatever form that 'life' may be, is beginning to seem like a forgone conclusion...!

We are your leaders!

Scientists dabbling in the toxic waters of a California lake have found a new species of bacteria that thrives on poisonous arsenic -- a discovery that opens up the likelihood of extraterrestrial life, according to a much anticipated NASA study.

Arsenic is a deadly poison to many plants and animals, but the new bacteria slurp it up unscathed and then fold it into their DNA and other crucial components. As long as the bugs have a steady supply of arsenic, they happily live without phosphorous, a chemical that has long been regarded as one of the basic building blocks of all living things.

The finding explodes scientist's working definition of the stuff of life -- meaning that life on other worlds might not look exactly the same as life here on Earth. Perhaps there are places in our solar system where arsenic is more prevalent, and microbes not only use, but are also comprised of it. This broadens the possibility of life being 'out there'.

There's another more in depth article re this at
Digital Trends . This is considered a major discovery.

1 comment:

  1. Truly mind boggling, if one tries to conjure up how many stars there really are.

    Its humbling to think about all this.