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The Known UniversePosted Wednesday, July 9, 2008, at 5:28 PM
On a clear night, depending on your location and ability to scan freely from horizon to horizon in all directions, the average person is able to view approximately 3,000 stars with the naked eye.
On July 26, 2002, CNN News reported that several witnesses in the Washington DC area saw bright orange and blue lights in the sky. Two F-16s were scrambled out of nearby Andrews Air Force, but the unidentified objects disappeared before the planes could intercept them and mysteriously vanished from radar.
Then the announcer added, with a smirk on his face, that there were no sightings of little green men.
On July 22, 2003, CNN News reported that astronomers announced there are 70 sextillion stars in the visible universe. A sextillion is a 1 followed by 21 zeroes.
That's 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 known stars in the universe. That's more than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the entire Earth.
This is not the total number of stars in the universe -- it's the number within the range of present day telescopes. The true number could be a zillion times higher.
There are nearly 7 billion people on this planet; that's 10 trillion known stars for every human being on Earth.
For every single person, there are 10,000,000,000,000 known stars in the universe.
Each star could have multiple planets within their system, just as we have multiple planets in our own solar system. Numerous planets have already been discovered in the closer regions of space.
Plus, many theoretical physicists believe there are other (parallel) universes and multiple unperceivable (parallel) dimensions as well, all of which could possibly contain intelligent entities.
If only one out of every million known stars (solar systems) has just one planet with intelligent life, there would be approximately 70,000,000,000,000,000 planets with intelligent life in our known universe.
To assume human beings on Planet Earth are the only intelligent life-forms in the universe is preposterous.
In fact, to assume human beings are an intelligent life-form is also preposterous.
He who smirks at the unknown is a fool.
Quote for the Day -- "Two things are infinite -- the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.