Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 Light Years Away. What are the Odds?

Astronomers may have found a star, Tau Ceti (awesome name by the way) almost identical to our sun, and it's just 12 light years away.  Five planets orbit it and one of them could possibly be in that prime Goldilocks zone.  It looks like they'll have to do a little more research to get a definitive answer, but the preliminary findings look pretty solid.

For us Singularity enthusiasts, a relatively nearby planet could do wonders for the rate of technological progress (not that it needs all that much nudging).  Still, any extra motivation for progress and for focus on something positive is a plus.  It's easy to envision mankind rallying around a unified quest for exploration instead of around a war based on our divisions.

For me, specifically, this finding makes me wonder about the nature of life and about why, after all of these planetary discoveries over the last decade, are we still alone in the universe.  Some are predicting that we won't feel so lonely sometime between now and thirty years from now.  During that time more than one notable astronomer believes that we will have discovered our first universal neighbor.

Finally, if all of this comes to pass what does it mean for our spirituality?  Of course we may have to adjust our perspectives, but if anything I think it will be an exciting and soul-expanding discovery.  Our imaginations (those indispensable partners of our creative inclinations) will grow like unburstable bubbles, expanding right before our very eyes.

Check out this video to help us understand how un-impossible those odds may be.

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