have you ever just looked up and wondered if…?

August 5, 2012

kiwis by beat aliens

Since you’re reading a science blog, you’re more than likely aware of Carl Sagan’s touching monologue about the pale blue dot that is Earth. If you haven’t heart it yet, I highly recommend clicking the link and then reading the comic above before you continue. No, seriously, check it out first or you might be doing yourself a little emotional disservice. Don’t worry, the blog will be here when you come back, promise.

So here’s a thought of the day for you. While we’re quietly here on Earth, alien empires may be rising and falling on planets we don’t even know exist, places so distant, we may never have the telescopes needed to detect them. Grand dramas of existence may unfold a million trillion miles away while we’re stuck punching keys in our cubicles, working on a new TPS report that we know won’t be read. And just the idea that this is what could be happening around us should be enough motivation to reach for the stars, explore as much of the universe as we can, and keep inventing and discovering so we may one day come to another world orbiting an alien sun and walk in the footsteps of alien giants, or learn what happened to a species gone missing. That seems like a much better and more productive future than our daily rat race, doesn’t it?

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  • Brett

    It’s definitely a good inspiration.

    The fact that we haven’t encountered anyone doing the same thing to us in historical memory is a bit troubling, though. Some of that could just be an artifact of timing, since an alien spacecraft flying through our solar system in 900 CE would probably go undetected. But it also could be that technologically advanced civilizations are so spread out that they rarely encounter each other. Or that interstellar travel is so difficult and energy-demanding that few civilizations ever bother with it (and the ones that do are very spread out from each other).

    I’m inclined towards the latter.

  • Jypson

    Well, I have a feeling that the odds of us finding anyone out there are about the same as anyone finding us. And even if anyone does have the ability to reach out and touch us, why would they? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about learning about our universe and exploring our neck of the woods.