The number of habitable worlds in our galaxy is certainly in the tens of billions, minimum, and we haven't even talked about the moons. And the number of galaxies we can see, other than our own, is about 100 billion.— Seth Shostak
The most wonderful Seth Shostak quotes that will transform you to a better person
While about one-third of Americans believe in ghosts, you won't find many exhibits on these spooky beings down at the local science museum. Why? Well, one explanation that you might consider, ghosts are just figments of our highly fertile imaginations!
[O]ne might ask why, in a galaxy of a few hundred billion stars, the aliens are so intent on coming to Earth at all. It would be as if every vertebrate in North America somehow felt drawn to a particular house in Peoria, Illinois. Are we really that interesting?
If this is the only planet on which not only life, but intelligent life, has arisen, that would be very unusual.
If you took all the sand from all the beaches, all the desserts, and all the oceans and called that the Universe, our whole solar system would be less than one grain of sand.
Neil Armstrong was no Christopher Columbus.
In most respects, he was better. Unlike the famous fifteenth century seafarer, Armstrong knew where he landed. He also spent his time in public service, not in jail, and his passing was marked by world-wide encomiums. He ended his days as a celebrated explorer rather than a royal inconvenience.
There is a point of view among astronomical researchers that is generally referred to as the Principle of Mediocrity. ... If the Sun and its retinue of worlds is only one system among many, then many other systems will be like ours: home to life. Indeed, to the extent that this is true, we should be prepared for the possibility that, even in the Milky Way galaxy, billions of planets may be carpeted by the dirty, nasty business known as life.
Five centuries from now - barring unimaginable catastrophe - the moon will be developed real estate. There's economic incentive to exploit the moon - the helium-3 will be useful in powering fusion reactors, and the rare earth elements could supplant the limited terrestrial supply of these materials.
Odors can be highly transitory, depending on the air currents.
If this is happening in your house, ask if there are any possessions of that deceased loved one still around. If it happens elsewhere, consider just how many millions of people use the same perfume or smoke the same brand of cigar as someone you knew.
The split between religion and science is relatively new.
Isaac Newton, who first worked out the laws by which gravity held the planets and even the stars in their traces, was sufficiently impressed by the scale and regularity of the universe to ascribe it all to God.
Despite the impression you may have from watching too much TV, movies are not about reproducing reality. Theyre about telling stories.
Our brains are wired to interpret shapes as faces and bodies.
That's why people see the Virgin Mary in the clouds or even in cheese sandwiches. It's your cytoplasm, not some strange ectoplasm.
The search for extra-terrestrial life is a failure until that moment when it suddenly becomes a success.
Like prospecting in the 19th century, reconnaissance of the asteroids would of necessity take place in an arena where trouble is likely and help is distant. Heroic stories of individual triumph and failure, set on landscapes never seen by humankind, are in the cards.
We're hard-wired by 200,000 years of evolution to be sensitive to the idea that someone might be watching us. They might be predators, after all. An uneasy feeling is perfectly natural if you suspect that someone has you in their ocular sights, whether it's a ghost or just some guy at the bus stop.
No heating system can deliver perfectly uniform temperatures throughout a house, and drafts can magnify the perceived difference in temperatures. Try walking around with a thermometer.