The Answer Might Be 100 Billion Trillion For You

Previously posted on July 3, 2010. Click it here.

Anybody has watched ‘Avatar’? I’ve watched. I’m impressed with Mr.James Cameron’s almost-perfect vision on the world of blue-tailed so-called ‘monkeys’, Na’vi, which is Pandora. The hundred-meter-tall trees, the wildlife beyond anyone’s imagination, all but his own. Yes, it’s perfect, but I am not going to review the movie. But scientists agree, it is not thoroughly, even obviously, ‘impossible’ at all, that there are more Earth-like planets appearing in this universe. Yes, and one man, Alan Boss, of the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC, dares to predict: there could be at least, in a MINIMUM number, 100 sextillion (100 billion trillion, 1 followed by 23 zeros) planets having near-Earth similarities. That number, statistically, could be similar with 100 billion 1-trillion-star galaxies spread within the ‘official diameter’ of the universe, that is 13.5 billion light years. But that, as I can say, is merely a hypothesis, because astronomers still have to classify the types of stars which appear in the entire universe. There are many types of stars, what I know is blue stars (those whose temperature might reach 30 thousand Celcius centigrades ‘only’ on its surface), yellow stars (one like Sun), red stars (the ones which shine less than our own), and etc. In our galaxy alone, it is estimated on a MINIMUM number, again, 10 billion stars similarly resembling our Sun. Yes, that’s a big potential, but another question arouses: is there any life form like human, and if it is true, how advanced are they? As primitive as Na’vis, or much more advanced than Greys, like those as shown in doomsday epic Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day, whose alien motherships obtain abilities to ruin the entire Big Apple, whose technology and their ways of life might be beyond our imagination? Nobody knows, but God and silence itself.

And, another problem is: how can we afford to explore these planets? Michio Kaku, a well-known physician and futurist based in United States, suggests an alternative: nanotechnology should be given much more incentive to develop. He suggests ‘Von Neumann probes’, a concept in which self-replicating robots would be unleashed to space, to certain stars as their main destination, and keep on multiplying themselves in leaps and bounds. To maintain on long-term survival, Michio Kaku suggests these probes to be centered basically over the asteroids, comets, or any moons available over these solar systems (he believes there might be space objects like them on other stars in this universe), so that the robots might prevail safe. However, this might require research worth hundred billion, perhaps, trillions of dollars (and, taxpayers would cry aloud for this). Scientists and astronomers instead suggest another ‘best’ solution in detecting these planets: they are going to prepare a super-sensitive, thousand-megapixel supertelescopes whose sensitivity might detect until space objects which are approximately one hundredth the size of the star where these objects revolve through. It is currently planned to be stationed one decade afterwards. Just wait for some good news. Perhaps, one day, the answer might be correct, like what Alan Boss had said: 100 billion trillion planets for you.


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