The future is bright for future space travelers
Image via CC (Credit: Paul Hudson)
At a time when pop superstition has even some of our most rational friends insisting everything happens for a reason or “the universe” feels this way or that about us, some enterprising scientists have injected some facts into the conversation about how much the cosmos favors human beings.
And it’s good news! If researchers behind a newly-released study in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics are to be believed, our hospitable Earth was actually a big rarity when it formed, relative to present and future habitable planets. “As star formation winds down, the dangerous radiation levels produced by dying stars drops, creating an environment up to 20 times as habitable as the Earth when life first evolved,” as the Smithsonian summarized the findings.
“At the same time, the sheer number of tiny dim stars—each of which could potentially support life-promoting planets—increases the likelihood that life might evolve in the future,” the study concluded. “These facts render Earth's current inhabitants ‘premature’ in the life of the solar system”—quite a relief if you spend your nights wondering if some or all of us humans will be wanting a backup planet in the not-so-distant future.
In the meantime, in spite of it all, Earth is looking pretty good for its age.