There are more than one hundred billion stars in our galaxy. There are over 100 billion galaxies that we are aware of. 100 billion squared gives an awfully big number.

One thing we've seen is that the laws of physics result in the same processes happening throughout space as we know it. Matter and gasses coalesce and create stars, some additional matter of much less mass accrue to become planets and moons. Seeing the recurring patterns of stars, systems and galaxies, we know that the same kind of things are happening throughout the universe. Just look at our solar system. Consistencies, such as planets orbiting the star in the same direction, moons around those planets, terrestrial inners, gas outers. Where there are over ten sextillion stars, there are going to be other instances of them having planets. We have begun to see evidence of that, measuring dips in stars' brightness as planets pass in front of them and eclipse them; the "wobble" of a star being influenced by orbiting masses. Odds are, if we can see planets around nearby stars, and they follow the patterns of our solar system, then that is probably a recurring arrangement that, even if it happens only in one out of a hundred stars, there are still trillions of stars that do have planets. With even the nearest stars being incredibly distant, we can't detect planets that readily, but the fact that even nearby stars also have them suggests a high percentage.

We have seen organic compounds in asteroids in our solar system. It is likely that this is where life came from. There are amino acids and other compounds flying around throughout space, landing where they may, and some of the time they land on a rocky planet where they are able to grow.

I don't know if there's any connection, but we have life on our third planet out from the sun, which is also the first one to have a moon. I think the inner planets are too close to the star, with too much heat and energy pushing and burning. Perhaps the first moon is the sign of the ideal planet to harbor life. A single moon means consistent tides which helps cycles fall into place, which can assist in encouraging life. Hot then cool, wet then dry. Like a heartbeat. Further out from the first "mooned planet" it gets too cold for the carbon-based life forms we know of. Liquid water is another exclusive to our distance from the sun. Further out planets have many moons. Maybe the moons are a sampler platter for what minerals and elements can be found on the planet.

So, if we were able to observe the universe closely enough to identify all the terrestrial planets in that "sweet spot" from the sun, the ones with one moon and H20, we could do the math to figure approximately how many other planets out there probably have intelligent life.

The laws of physics keep things pretty regular, and allow the same things to happen countless billions of times. How could ours be the only one with life on it? The trick is, as it always has been, managing to traverse the distance between us to communicate, not to mention that communication will be entirely different.


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