News sites are reporting that the Mars Rover has some data that scientists are excited about, but are not quite not ready to share with us. Typical scientists, letting science get in the way of sensational headlines. So lets do some hypothetical talking.
The big questions is this: is the data indicative of potential life on Mars at some time? Let’s get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Let’s say it IS some exciting data indicating Mars could have, or dare we hope DID, harbor life. What would that mean.
My thought is short and simple. It’s about probability. If we find evidence that the planet CLOSEST to our Earth could have harbored life, what are the odds there is more life out there. I don’t know, you don’t know, and scientists don’t know. Yet. But let me offer this simple set of facts.
The distance from Earth to Mars is, on average, 48,678,972 miles (orbits change that distance, so its an average).
One light year is 5,878,499,810,000 miles. Take a moment to compare how much BIGGER that number is than the distance of Earth – Mars. Earth to Mars is about %0.0008 of a light year.
NOW. How big is our galaxy? The Milky Way, according to NASA, 100,000 light years across. Earth to Mars is .000008 light years. The Milky Way is 100,000 light years. This is a large amount of space.
And the Universe? Well we really have no idea, but the rough guess is the observable universe is about 92 billion light years across. 92,000,000,000 light years. We have far passed what our tiny human brains can properly grasp.
Now consider this. If we have found evidence of life .000008 light years away from us, what do you think are the odds there is more life within the rest of the 92,000,000,000 light years?