As soon as humanity realized that, for natural reasons, the Earth would one day cease to serve as its shelter, it began to search for extrasolar planets.
Like a hermit trapped in the distance from the noise of the aurora and electromagnetic waves, NASA's Kepler satellite does not lose hope of finding a habitable planet. Since March 2009, this spacecraft has been observing stars that are similar to the Sun and are at an understandable distance from us. Despite its improved lenses, Kepler is able to cover only 0.28% of the night sky. As of last week, according to his data, the number of confirmed planets that may be suitable for the development of life exceeded a thousand.
NASA, which began researching extraterrestrial life in 1971, has upped the ante by taking another major step by including a $ 200 million transiting satellite for exploring extraterrestrial exoplanets outside the solar system. It is expected that the area over which this device will be able to observe will be 400 times greater than the capabilities of Kepler.
As soon as humanity realized that due to negligence or certain natural reasons, the Earth would one day cease to serve as its shelter, it began to search for extrasolar planets. But even if we find suitable planets, can we go to them? The fact that the technology we have today does not allow us to even get to the nearest star hits us like a butt on the head. However, a certain confidence in us is inspired by the fact that much of what was once impossible has now become part of the order of things. Therefore, such an obstacle now facing us as the primitiveness of our technologies will hardly make us deviate from the chosen path.
Our incomparable planet
As a result of long-term observations, 18 scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder have established that there is a "shield" around the Earth that protects our planet from "killer electrons" from the Sun. An article published in November 2014 in one of the most prestigious journals in the world, Nature, did not become such a sensation as the landing on an asteroid that took place at the same time, and did not produce the desired effect.
Daniel Baker and his colleagues found that particles that are released by explosions in the Sun (our giant nuclear reactor) and travel faster than 160 thousand kilometers per second are stopped by an invisible barrier between the Van Allen belts, and therefore they do not reach the atmosphere. It is impossible to say for sure, but it is assumed that in the plasmasphere, which, like a lifebuoy, encircles our planet, these particles scatter low-frequency electromagnetic waves.
The Van Allen radiation belts are a product of the Earth's magnetic field and are just one of the features that make it suitable for life. There are many more things that testify to the uniqueness of the Earth, which, like a dervish in a ritual dance, rotates at an optimal distance from the second generation star called the Sun. Water as the basis of life, oxygen-nitrogen balance of air, carbon and silicon, suitable mass and orbit are the first things that come to mind. The moon plays an important role in maintaining the natural balance of the Earth, being, in a sense, its night moth, moving under the influence of the mystical mystery of gravity. Due to the tilt of the axis, the seasons change. You should also take into account the multilayered structure of the atmosphere that envelops and protects our planet, and various kinds of patrons, such as Jupiter, who, like lightning rods, protect the Earth from objects dangerous for it. The magnetic field, which is generated in its core by molten iron and heavy metals such as nickel, acts as a compass and at the same time an umbrella, sheltering from the solar wind. In addition, as it turned out recently, there is also a protection against "killer electrons".
Research is mainly focused on the stars of the Milky Way, because, despite the incredible distances between the stars, they are at least in comprehensible proximity to us. It is impossible to establish the exact number of stars in the Milky Way, nevertheless, scientists have their own approaches. First, based on spectrograms, which allow distinguishing between color values, and factors such as the shape of the galaxy (elliptical or spiral) and the approximate volume of gas, approximate calculations are made regarding the total mass of the galaxy. In accordance with these calculations, it was concluded that there are about 100-110 billion stars in the Milky Way. There are about 100 billion galaxies that we can observe. According to Drake's equation, it is believed that there are 7 × 1022 stars in the visible universe, which could hide habitable planets. And although, in accordance with the Fermi paradox, if intelligent life forms existed, we would have known about it for a long time, space agencies such as NASA, ESA, believe in the possibility of discovering planets suitable for life. Based on Kepler's observations, in November 2013, scientists calculated that the Milky Way alone could have about 11 billion planets, comparable to the size of the Earth and orbiting a star similar to the Sun.
The universe, which can be thought of as a ball with a diameter of 93 billion light years, is thought to contain about a septillion (1024) stars. That is, ten times more than all the grains of sand on the surface of the Earth. You can learn about the size of the universe and our insignificance in comparison with it, for example, from a video prepared by scientists from the American Museum of Natural History.
Sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke famously said: “There are only two possibilities: either we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both are equally frightening."
Are we alone in the universe? This question was probably asked by everyone who, once in childhood, gazed into an infinite number of stars in the clear night sky. And it must be that a person who is unable to create a real, strong relationship even in his immediate environment, he must cause true anxiety. But let's leave that to the judgment of psychologists.
Today we begin to forget that our home, the Earth, is so spacious that there is enough room for everyone. We ourselves are narrowing our planet with our unbridled desires. If we imagine that now about 7, 25 billion people live on Earth, and put each one on one square meter, then the entire population of the world will not be able to fill even Chankyry with an area of 7, 5 thousand square kilometers. If we make room a little, we can fit in the Konya Valley. According to a calculation based on the assumption of Carl Haub that humanity began about 50 thousand years ago, and the population at that time was two people, since the time of our first parents Adam and Eve, the world has been inhabited by 115 billion people (including now living). If we don’t skimp on square meters for them, we will fill only a little more than two-thirds of Central Anatolia. And then on the day of the last judgment, people will not be so dispersed throughout the world.
A small piece of land becomes a matter of life and death for us, while our planet is so big! As long as a person is driven by unbridled desires and anger, all existing galaxies will not be enough for him. Even if life is possible on all of them.