First, let me apologize for getting this blog out so late. We were in the middle of a move that took us from the desert to the mountains here in Arizona. Two reasons for the move, at elevation it is cooler and the air is cleaner. I’ll do better and quicker next time.
Now what you are looking at above is the Hubble Extreme Deep Field image taken several years ago. You are looking back in time billions of years into the heart of the universe. The splotches you see in this compilation photograph are galaxies and stars. The Milky Way galaxy, where we live on Planet Earth, is a common spiral galaxy not unlike some of the galaxies you see in this image. There are hundreds of millions of stars in the Milky Way, some scientists think 400 million stars, some think more.
I wanted you to see this image so you can get some idea of how big the universe really is, incomprehensible in human terms and breath taking in scope for what I am about to tell you. It is the latest estimate from astronomers as to how many earth like planets may exist in the universe. And finally, as years go by this number will probably increase dramatically.
But try and get your head around this number. Astronomers now estimate there may be earthlike planets around 9 billion stars (suns like our own) in the known universe. In other words, there may be 9 billion “earths,” or more, in our universe. That’s 9 billion opportunities for life to exist. And that life is in various stages of development. Some life is less advanced than what we have here on earth, some life is so far advanced that intelligent creatures could have the same advancement and capabilities like we have over the world of ants on our earth.
That is why I love to write science fiction because it is so much fun to speculate on what could be out there. What might be visiting our planet or at least observing our planet. And all I ask is that you pull away every once in awhile from the grindstone, from the television monitor, from the day to day grind of living and use your imagination and explore in your mind those possibilities for life beyond earth, advanced life.
To help in that endeavor the third book in my “SETI” series is currently “IN WORK.” Give me a few months and it will be finished and the SETI Trilogy will be complete. But until then, let’s see what Comet Ison does in the coming weeks. Will it light up the sky or not? Maybe you can check out books I and II, “SETI” and “SETI, The Journey” on Kindle…links on my website www.frederickfichman.com. And of course, let’s all have a wonderful holiday season, here on earth or on an earth 100 light years from our earth.