I was browsing the web looking for information on minor planets, curious what the recent count for our solar system was (250,000). Lots of interesting material, they estimate that less than 10% of the minor planets and asteroids in our solar system are accounted for but already that accounts for more matter than in all the major planets combined, which suggests to me tremendous mineral wealth out there. It’s just a question of the energy it takes to get to them. Chemical rockets are rather crude and inefficient, and they have this nasty disposition to blow up from time to time.
The Earth is differentiated, gravity has to a large degree separated the elements, with the heaviest going to the core, and the lightest to the crust. There is still some mixing owing to convection but there must be a wealth of heavy metals besides iron in the core, maybe the very core of the core, and we’ll never be able to get to them.
But these asteroids and minor planets, most of them are not large enough to be differentiated the way the Earth and other major planets are. That means they won’t be hiding their gold and rare earth’s and other heavy valuable metals below 2000 miles of semi-molten rock, they’ll be right there at the surface mixed in with everything else where they’re readily available to any civilization that has sufficiently mastered space travel to get to them. So far that appears not to be us, but if we were to actually get fusion reactors to work, that would change almost overnight. The energy requirements of space-flight would suddenly become trivial.
In our Milky Way galaxy alone there are estimated to be between 200 and 400 billion stars and 100 billion planets. Those numbers go up every time we get a better telescope and are probably an under-estimate, especially planets. Roughly half the stars we’ve surveyed have been found to have planets and our ability to detect planets is presently limited to large planets in tight orbits that have sufficient gravitational influence on their parent star to cause a wobble detectable from Earth or when the orbit of a planet around a star is edge on and we can see the planet transit the parent star. If we’ve found single planets around half the stars we’ve surveyed and undoubtedly many of those stars have multiple planets that our current technology is not capable of detecting, others where we’ve detected no planets either have smaller planets or gas giants in distant enough orbits that we don’t detect the slight wobble they induce, then it’s clear our estimate is actually highly conservative.
It seems to me odds are very good that advanced life forms exist on many other planets in this galaxy alone, some of it for much longer than we’ve existed, some of it much more advanced. I suspect many have evolved to the point where they’ve mastered fusion, space flight within their own solar system, and perhaps even exploited physics we don’t understand, that which makes interstellar travel possible.
Life, to me, appears to be almost anti-entropic. It creates information. It creates order where there was chaos. It’s not strictly anti-entropic as life consumes energy to do all of this, enormous quantities of energy. It seems likely to me that other intelligent species have been a little less willing to destroy each other and a little more willing to think and plan for the future when planetary resources get tight and likely have already occupied their entire solar system to use extra-planetary resources.
I believe the evidence is overwhelming that some have come to our planet. You don’t have to look very far on the net to find pictures and video of strange things that seem to defy terrestrial explanations. That would be convincing if it were not for Photoshop and applications like it. But for me, I’ve seen and photographed some things that either defy terrestrial explanation or if it’s part of some black project, then that black project has found ways to manipulate gravity and space-time.
I’ve photographed on three occasions and seen on one of those three, what people are calling orbs, these aren’t the lens flare or illuminated dust things people are referring to as spirits of some sort, they are orb shaped objects at high altitudes that seem to be reflective and more strangely seemed to distort space, or at least the path of light, around them. From time to time they show up in Google data, or at least did three years ago, I haven’t seen them recently. When they do show up in Google data, the Earth below is distorted around the orb. Somehow they bend the light or the space through which the light travels. They are capable of remaining in a steady position or accelerating rapidly.
A group of them which I photographed from Juanita Beach about four years ago (2008) came through a cloud and then was followed by a commercial jet coming through the same cloud at same altitude. Photographing both allowed me to get an idea as to the size of these. The ones in this group, I estimated at 6-8 feet in diameter.
These things seem to have some characteristics that are beyond our capabilities. If they were lighter than air craft, they would not be capable of the rapid acceleration and maneuvering I’ve observed. If they were conventional aircraft they’d have wings, engines, props, but they have nothing of the sort, just spherical things with no visible parts. Whether these things are of extraterrestrial origin or ours doesn’t really matter because either way they prove that physics beyond what we understand exists. We may not know how to manipulate space-time, or we may, but either way it is possible, someone does. Whether that someone is extraterrestrial or some black project group is immaterial, the fact that it is doable means we probably are being visited.
With an estimate of 100 Billion planets in our galaxy alone (and I am sure that will go up as our technology to detect them improves), that makes it seem more likely than not that much of the unexplainable phenomena in our skies is in fact visitors from other intelligent races.
My own belief is that the universe is just teaming with intelligent life, but for every civilization that succeeded, many failed. The discovery of element 92 was probably a challenge that many failed to get past. Those that didn’t solve energy issues before running out of atmosphere probably went the way of the folks on Easter Island. But some survived, and I suspect to them, we became interesting when they noticed gamma ray flashes coming from a planet circling an otherwise fairly ordinary star. We’ve got an ever expanding ring of gamma ray photons signalling to all it passes by that we’ve created the atomic bomb and now are capable of doing a number of things, total self annihilation, and production of energy from sources much more compact than fossil fuels.
I wonder how many other civilizations went through the discovery of element 92 when they were sociologically still so primitive and of those that did what percentage survived. Those that did survive probably find us a lot more interesting now that we’ve discovered it. Both because they would have a certain degree of identification, realizing they themselves marginally made it through a challenging period of their history and now we were there, and because we represent a threat if we do not develop in a positive way. If we develop interstellar travel capability but still have a penchant for blowing things up, that would be unhealthy.
I am wondering, if and when we finally make contact, what that will be like. Certainly not like Star Trek, odds are pretty good that English, as commonly spoken as it is here on Earth, will not be the universal galactic language. I think odds are pretty good that any race like the Klingons or Romulans, would have not made it past the discovery of element 92, and thus it is unlikely we will be encountering them or anything remotely like them. The Ferringi, I think they are some how related to Ronald Reagan and we might well encounter something like that. But what the ever so popular greys, who never made an appearance on Star Trek, I think in many ways they are a more likely race. Small, but strong bodies seem likely, they’re efficient, strong but low mass will make them tolerant of high g-forces. An overpopulated planet, just like an island where the population has increased to the maximum capacity of it’s ability to carry life, tends to favor small bodies with low energy requirements. Grey with black eyes. If the predominate wavelength of the light from their parent star were outside of what is visible for us, say in the near infrared, then it is likely that any pigments that evolved will favor those wavelengths, hence a grey appearance, especially if it is a star with little or no ultraviolet output to need protection from. So I can see something like the greys as they’re described as actually being fairly likely.
Who really knows what form intelligent species capable of space travel might assume. Here on Earth, we’ve got a number of species with bigger brains than our own, quite possibly more intelligent, dolphins and whales, but their bodies do not lend themselves tool making and space travel. Except for the few that materialize 12 miles above the ground as the result of the operation of infinite improbability drives, we’ll probably not see whales in space, let alone visiting us from distant planets.
The predator types, save maybe for an occasional escaped alien pet, seem pretty unlikely as well. Other intelligent species intelligent enough to develop inter-stellar space travel have probably also developed farming to a high degree, and no doubt domestically raised meat is less expensive than traveling to another star system for dinner.
I find Star Trek’s “Prime Directive” an unlikely scenario, either for man, or for some distant intelligent species. The prime directive seems to suggest that the natural order of things is for them to evolve in isolation from each other, but things very much interact and determine each others evolution on our own planet and I suspect this is true at larger scales as well. There will be competition and there will be symbiosis, just as there is on this planet. Let us hope that more of our future relationships with other species is symbiotic rather than competitive. Being the new kids on the block, we’re not likely to fare well in the latter.