This is how small and ignorant we are—and how much we have to explore

Illustration for article titled This is how small and ignorant we are—and how much we have to explore

As of October 13, 2013, humans have discovered almost one thousand exo-planets, worlds outside our solar system. 998 planets in 759 planetary systems, most of them giant gas worlds. It seems like a lot, but it's nothing. Just look at the tiny space we have covered so far.

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That space has a lot more planets in there. There's an estimated 17 billion Earth-sized worlds in our galaxy alone. Just in our galaxy. That doesn't even count worlds like Mercury or Jupiter.

And there are 500 billion galaxies. You do the math.

It's a humbling feeling mixed with hope (of finding someone else) and excitement (of exploration) and sadness (of knowing that you and I will never see any of these worlds.)

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The staggering scope of the universe actually feels sort of comforting to me in a way. I mean, in essence, we're the end result of chemistry running amok through deep time. A small stop on the long journey to maximum entropy when the universe could look back on itself and ask "Why?"

I believe that one day this will allow us to overcome the seemingly insurmountable blocks that physics puts in front of us and travel the universe in some semblance of a reasonable amount of time.

Cuz you gotta think...Curiosity is an almost irresistible force and necessity is the mother of invention..

Well either that or we'll all die by our own hands and be nothing more than a fart in the wind.