Ever wonder about that? Ever wonder about the very existence of alien intelligence? (Hell, I wonder about it’s existence here on this planet!)
“Nature is often richer and more wondrous than our imagination”…Excerpt from referenced article below.
One thing’s for sure, with the ever-increasing discoveries of other planets and stars in completely new and larger galaxies utilizing more and more sophisticated technical equipment, we are feeling smaller and smaller and smaller…You do realize, of course, that our little planet is peanut-sized when compared to other planets within our own earth’s galaxy (look at galaxy as a celestial neighborhood). Damn, man, we are not even the biggest planet in a smaller galaxy!
Talk about NOT being the biggest fish in the pond…
Pretty damn insignificant are we…AND, we can’t even seem to live together in some kind of semblance of peace on this peanut planet in this peanut galaxy…much less accept a pretty puny new tech format in e-publishing!…We in bad shape, Kimosabe.
I thought everyone would enjoy this insight from a New York Times article by Ray Jayawardhana, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Toronto AND the author of “Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life Beyond Our Solar System.”:
Alien Life, Coming Slowly Into View
I REMEMBER the first time the concept of another world entered my mind. It was during a walk with my father in our garden in Sri Lanka. He pointed to the Moon and told me that people had walked on it. I was astonished: Suddenly that bright light became a place that one could visit.
Schoolchildren may feel a similar sense of wonder when they see pictures of a Martian landscape or Saturn’s rings. And soon their views of alien worlds may not be confined to the planets in our own solar system.
After millenniums of musings and a century of failed attempts, astronomers first detected an exoplanet, a planet orbiting a normal star other than the Sun, in 1995. Now they are finding hundreds of such worlds each year. Last month, NASA announced that 1,235 new possible planets had been observed by Kepler, a telescope on a space satellite. Six of the planets that Kepler found circle one star, and the orbits of five of them would fit within that of Mercury, the closest planet to our Sun.
By timing the passages of these five planets across their sun’s visage — which provides confirmation of their planetary nature — we can witness their graceful dance with one another, choreographed by gravity. These discoveries remind us that nature is often richer and more wondrous than our imagination. The diversity of alien worlds has surprised us and challenged our preconceptions many times over.
It is quite a change from merely 20 years ago, when we knew for sure of just one planetary system: ours. The pace of discovery, supported by new instruments and missions and innovative strategies by planet seekers, has been astounding.
What’s more, from measurements of their masses and sizes, we can infer what some of these worlds are made of: gases, ice or rocks. Astronomers have been able to take the temperature of planets around other stars, first with telescopes in space but more recently with ground-based instruments, as my collaborators and I have done.
Two and a half years ago, we even managed to capture the first direct pictures of alien worlds. There is something about a photo of an alien planet — even if it only appears as a faint dot next to a bright, overexposed star — that makes it “real.” Given that stars shine like floodlights next to the planetary embers huddled around them, success required painstaking efforts and clever innovations. One essential tool is adaptive optics technology, which, in effect, takes the twinkle out of the stars, thus providing sharper images from telescopes on the ground than would otherwise be possible.
JOHN’S NOTE: So, are there books out there in galaxy-land where no man has gone before?…I believe so.
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