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Feeling Small and Distant


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#1 Brett

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:23 AM

Conservative estimates have it that there are about 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Estimates also place about 200 to 400 billion stars in each galaxy. There are an almost unimaginable number of stars in the observable universe.

Couple that fact with the following, and it'll give you something to ponder.

The closest one of those billion-billion-billion-billion stars? Alpha Centauri, which is about 25,000,000,000,000 miles away (yes, that's 25 trillion miles).

That's the closest one. The *closest.*

#2 Spencer

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:58 AM

The Sun is the closest star to us :)

Alpha Centauri is part of a three star group: Alpha Centauri A, Alpha Centauri B, and Proxima Centauri, the latter of which is actually the closest at 4.22 light years.

Alpha Centauri is also an awesome computer game!

#3 Brett

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:22 AM

Each of the three in the group are approximately the same distance from us, down to a rounding error, which is obviously a footnote to the consideration in the original post. :)

#4 Crockett

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:03 PM

But aliens are definitely impossible.

#5 Brett

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:28 PM

But aliens are definitely impossible.

Yeah. I understand the religious angle, and respect peoples' right to believe what they want, but, for me, it's impossible to imagine that, given those numbers, we're alone.

#6 Crockett

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:21 PM


But aliens are definitely impossible.

Yeah. I understand the religious angle, and respect peoples' right to believe what they want, but, for me, it's impossible to imagine that, given those numbers, we're alone.


Largest Christian denomination in the world accepts that aliens likely exist. Also accepts evolution. Crazy times for religions.

#7 Spencer

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:25 PM

I don't believe in aliens. Not for any religious reasons. Just cause, well, I just don't think they exist.

#8 Brett

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:54 PM

I don't believe in aliens. Not for any religious reasons. Just cause, well, I just don't think they exist.

So setting aside the religious angle, is Earth - and life here - just that 0.00000000000000000000000000001% (I've probably left out far too many zeroes) random chance? Not a bait, just curious on peoples' thoughts.

#9 Dave

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:59 PM

http://scaleofuniverse.com/

I've seen another, cooler, version of this but I don't recall where it was.

The real trippy thing about aliens (the numbers say they have to exist) is that somewhere, on some distant planet, someone is having this same discussion.

#10 MichiganGoat

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:10 PM

To think there is a planet of talking goat out there...

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#11 Spencer

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:44 PM


I don't believe in aliens. Not for any religious reasons. Just cause, well, I just don't think they exist.

So setting aside the religious angle, is Earth - and life here - just that 0.00000000000000000000000000001% (I've probably left out far too many zeroes) random chance? Not a bait, just curious on peoples' thoughts.


I don't know that I'd call it random chance. I think it also depends on how you define "alien". Is an "alien" anything that's foreign? Because, yeah, I think that there are bacteria or single celled organisms out there somewhere. But I don't think that counts. If there are "aliens", they sure as shit aren't the green things with antennas that fly around in UFOs that we see in TV and movies.

#12 Dave

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:33 PM

Earth and Mars, that's 2 planets in one solar system where it cam be proven life (yes, I count bacteria in this instance) to have existed. There are and impossible to imagine number of planets and solar systems out there and somewhere there simply must be some form of life, its the Infinite Monkey Theorem. It may not be green men who travel to Earth in order to probe rednecks, but I don't see how there can't be something somewhere. That said, I doubt that any alien life form will make contact with any human. Ever.

#13 Fishin Phil

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:57 AM

To think there is a planet of talking goat out there...



There is also a planet ruled by puppets.
Please don't feed the psychos.

#14 SirCub

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:25 PM

http://scaleofuniverse.com/

I've seen another, cooler, version of this but I don't recall where it was.

The real trippy thing about aliens (the numbers say they have to exist) is that somewhere, on some distant planet, someone is having this same discussion.

http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white

This one is a little better, I think.

#15 BlueHorizons

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:37 PM

Maybe on a distant planet the Bizarro Cubs have a current streak of 11 consecutive World Series championships!




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