Maybe we are not alone (part two)…

So after my last post of the universe picture from the Hubble I got to wondering (as you do) if we really are alone. After all, we’ve only been here for what is in effect the blink of an eye in the life of the universe so how much of a chance is there that there is actually something else out there as well right now?

A guick google search indicates that there are somewhere between 100 and 400 BILLION (not million) stars in our humble galaxy alone (the Milky way in case you forgot). So, let’s be conservative and go with 100 billion. That’s 100,000,000,000 (1 and 11 zeros!).

Another quick goolge search reveals that estimates for the number of galaxies in the universe is anywhere from 100 BILLION up. So lets stay on the low side and say 100 billion (1 and 11 zeros again!).

If we assume that our humble little corner of the universe is pretty average in celestial terms then you could say that it’s pretty safe to assume that on average the other galaxies also contain a similar number of stars.

What that means is that in the universe there are something like 10,000 BILLION BILLION stars or 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars (that’s 1 and 22 zeros!).

If we assume that 0.01% (one in ten thousand) of those stars have planets or moons (planet does not have life but moon may) that are capable of supporting life of some sort then we are still looking at ONE BILLION BILLION (1 and 18 zeros) stars that may have life of some sort around them. Even if we assume that of those ONE BILLION BILLION stars that ‘might’ have life, only 0.1% (one in a thousand) of them actually do then we are still looking at over ONE MILLION BILLION (1,000,000,000,000,000) stars out there that might have life of some sort on them.

OK, some have come and gone. They’ve had their blink of the eye existance and puffed out of existance and most are so far away we will never ever meet them, even assuming that life has evolved to the same level as us, or beyond it.

Even so, with numbers like that it seems to me that there’s a good chance that there is something else out there.

I can live with that.


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