There are 100 billion galaxies, with 100 billion stars in each galaxy, in the universe. It’s a ridiculously large number of stars when you add it all up. It’s a figure that’s always amazed me, ever since I was kid watching Carl Sagan on TV.
It’s also why, even though I’m not convinced there’s anything near us, I am convinced that we’re not alone. Having said that, it’s been theorized that even if we aren’t alone, it’s not entirely clear that another civilization would be nearby, at our equal stage of development (so that we could communicate electronically), or that the other civilizations would even exist at exactly the same time that we exist – meaning, something existed a long time ago, died off, we existed, then we die off, then another civilization peaks somewhere else.
And let’s not even get into the problem that the immense distances pose. We could receive a signal from a distant civilization, but it might have been sent a million years ago. Would they even still exist, let alone even if they did, what would they be like after a million years of civilization?
Anywhere this video about the Hubble telescope, and the Ultra Deep Field, got me thinking of these matters. I’ve always loved astronomy. And these kind of videos reignite that passion for me, big time.