It's famously called the Final Frontier, and thanks to rapidly developing technology we now know more about the outer reaches of our galaxy than ever. But that leaves unknowns.
Does the universe have any limits? Are there any other earth-like planets out there? And the big one, are we alone?
Addressing the University of Melbourne recently, Britain's Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees, reports on the latest research.
Lord Martin Rees
Martin Rees is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics and Master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal and also Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and at Leicester University.
After studying at the University of Cambridge, he held post-doctoral positions in the UK and the USA, before becoming a professor at Sussex University. In 1973, he became a fellow of King's College and Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge (continuing in the latter post until 1991) and served for ten years as director of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy. From 1992 to 2003 he was a Royal Society Research Professor. He was president of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010 and Member of Council of the Royal Institution of Great Britain until 2010. In 2011, he was awarded the Templeton Prize.
Cosmologist Lord Martin Rees describes the two domains of physical science as an ouroboros: the microscopic, which obeys quantum laws, and the astronomical, which follows Einstein's relativity. He places humanity as the link between the two, a complex species that pertains to both.
Any of the billions of systems of stars and interstellar matter that make up the universe. Galaxies vary considerably in size, composition, structure, and activity, but nearly all are arranged in groups, or clusters, containing from a few galaxies to as many as 10,000. Each is composed of millions to trillions of stars; in many, as in the Milky Way Galaxy, nebulae can be detected. A large fraction of the bright galaxies in the sky are spiral galaxies, with a main disk in which spiral arms wind out from the centre. The arms contain the greatest concentration of a spiral galaxy's interstellar gas and dust, where stars can form. Surrounding the centre (nucleus) is a large, usually nearly spherical nuclear bulge. Outside this and the disk is a sparse, more or less spherical galactic halo. In elliptical galaxies, which vary greatly in size, stars are distributed symmetrically in a spherical or spheroidal shape. Dwarf ellipticals (with only a few million stars) are by far the most common kind of galaxy, though none is conspicuous in the sky. Irregular galaxies, such as the Magellanic Clouds, are relatively rare. Radio galaxies are very strong sources of radio waves. Seyfert galaxies, with extremely bright nuclei, often emit radio waves and may be related to quasars.
Lord Martin Reed joked of those saying that had been visited by aliens.
Not nice from a wise man.
The world is very complex as he stated several times, that we know very little, and finally ended the lecture on life and the cosmos, by describing of how aliens would have been observing the changes and evolution on Earth in the last million and thousand years. His conclusions on aliens, none.
The UK is very rich with alien facts happening on a daily basis.
I am not talking of wind mills going down, No, I am speaking of crop messages.
Space is the outback. Lets think first of our Earth. They are messaging us already for a long time.
I wonder if he has time to consider two issues, which for many of us are so obvious already.
About Earth aliens : If there are invisible beings around us on Earth, as there are indeed, then we will have to deal with a new level of complexity never foreseen by the Pros before.
He is not prepared for this.
Then when that time will come, because it will, new inputs will play a major role on our world evolution studies.
About Humans: What makes us diferent from each other after all? Does he know that we Humans have 12 types of matching profiles? Has anyone in the western World tried to group DNA type profiles according to the zodiac elements? What forces induce this human profiling from birth?
The BigBang, Universe expansion, and other theories, are very interesting in fact, but thats the outback!
Aliens are here already. Take your cameras, with an UV filter, and start shooting around using in adittion your camera inbuilt filters. You maybe surprised.
And they are here because this is a special planet which has gone dried in some places and wet in other places over the millenium years.
Too much rain sometimes, too little rain some other times. Why? Viewing from the moon the all subject is clear like water.
Unique place in the cosmos? I don't think so. The cosmos got along pretty well for untold billions of years, as we measure time, before we showed up and it will carry on long after we're gone. My own opinion is that will happen some time in the next ten thousand years, although we might go on for as long as 2 or 3 hundred thousand but it's doubtful. If we don't destroy ourselves then conditions will change, our particular talents for surivival will no longer be effective and we'll be gone along the other 90%+ of all species that have existed on this planet that we know of.