Thursday, 13 February 2014

1,000 Exoplanets

How little do we know about the place we live in; our universe. Just 400 years ago, Galileo was trying to prove that earth was not the center of the universe. His ideas took some time to sink in but then sun took the central place for the next couple of hundred years. Less than a hundred years ago, first galaxies were confirmed. At first, these were dubbed as island universes. First planets outside our solar system were discovered in 1992.  The verified list now numbers more than 1,000 such exoplanets. And this is just the beginning as by one estimate earth like planets might add up to billions in just our own galaxy. There may be more than one habitable planet per person alive today on earth. What other wonders exist out there, one can only imagine.

Our universe is huge and distances between stars are mind-boggling. Even a trip to a nearby star system may take generations to complete by our current technology. But this would be like talking about jet engines in the age of sailing ships. New sources of power and propulsion would be harnessed, new technologies would be conceived.

All of our philosophies and beliefs have roots in an era when earth was solidly considered as the center of universe. This new knowledge needs some time to become the part of human psyche. When that happens, new philosophies and belief systems might emerge to explain life, the universe and everything. 

A new era of wonder is around the corner. Stars are waiting for us and the age of humans has just begun.
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