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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Fermi Paradox

Sometimes the scale of the internet boggles the mind — the reach of a single tweet, the repercussions of a Wikipedia edit, the disruption caused by a buggy piece of software — but internet scale doesn’t even come close when you compare it to space. The scale of things in the universe is mostly unfathomable. Take the recent Pluto flyby for instance:

People don’t fully appreciate how incredible this is. Pluto is 7.5 billion km away. New Horizon speed is 50,000km/hr

The human mind cannot comprehend such numbers properly. We have absolutely no points of reference from our daily lives.

— Siddharth Singh (@siddharth3) 4:47pm and 4:48pm, 14 July 2015

7.5 billion kilometres. Spend some time with the fantastic If the Moon Was Only 1 Pixel model of the solar system to get a crude feel of what that can be like (because no human knows what it actually is like). But we’re still talking about just our solar system here. Things get really crazy when you go interstellar.

Now add to this the eternal question — are we alone in the universe? Go on, go read about the Fermi Paradox.

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