The Universe is too Big but is it Alone?
Note: In the past, many of the web links that I have provided have been Smart News links. I have been advised that these are not working for some. In the future, I will do my best to provide alternative links.
Every time I check on how many galaxies there are in our Universe it seems to grow. The truth is we do not and may never know. As our vision via more sophisticated telescopes improves, we see further. Hence the term “the observable” Universe. What was 100 billion only 20 years ago is now estimated as high as 2 trillion. That’s a mighty big number.
To make even more interesting our Universe may not be unique. I first was made aware of the possibility of the multiverse when I read “The Urantia Book” in the early 1970s. Of course, at the time, I just thought this to be an interesting thought. It turns out that theoretical physicists now consider multiple universes a distinct possibility. Mind-blowing!
Whether it’s our Local Universe or many the numbers are too large for any of us to comprehend. The latest estimates are that our Observable Universe is 93 billion light years in diameter. Since we can’t see to the edge estimates of the actual size may run as high as 7 trillion light years and is expanding faster than the speed of light. Again, mind-numbing.
Let’s narrow our focus to an astronomical feature of a size that we can at least comprehend, the Milky Way Galaxy. There are plenty of opportunities to find intelligent life beyond our planet in this tiny galaxy. Did I say tiny? Well compared to the size of just our universe it is minuscule.
Just how small is it? It’s only about 90,000 lightyears in diameter. The latest estimate is (and it also seems to grow) that there are only 1.5 trillion suns in our Galaxy and almost all of them have planets. Many have 1 – 3 planets in the habitable zone. If only one system in 1,000 has habitable planets that means there are only 1.5 billion possibilities for life. Wow, what are the chances?