The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Last week NASA announced it was stepping up its game on the search for other life in the universe. SETI has also recently received a windfall of funding and is also partnering with various agencies who share a keen, if not heightened interest in finding life out there in the cosmos.

With improved telescopes we have discovered thousands of exo-planets circling suns all around us. Most agree that the discovery of life elsewhere is a game-changer for humanity. Finding intelligent life would be even more profound. The last step might be communication with said life form, but for now, we’re just trying to find the right place to look with so many options.

What if the Urantia Book could provide some clues as to where we might look? Clearly, the Urantia Book gives an entire narrative of the various kinds of life forms there are in existence, and while is doesn’t violate its “prime directive” of giving us the answers as to where they are, it does give us clues that they probably anticipated would help in our search for life in our universe (remember, the book was written in 1934 when idea of ET life seemed more science fiction that science reality).

They give us an overview of the different kinds of life forms that evolve on worlds’ because of the differing environmental factors each planet possesses, heat, gravity, size of the world, proximity to its solar parent, size of the sun, kinds of suns, kinds of atmospheres, etc.

The point is the search is on for ET life, and the Urantia Book could help us.

Here is one statement the UB makes that could provide clues:

41:3.1 There are upward of two thousand brilliant suns pouring forth light and energy in your region of space (our local system) , and your own sun is an average blazing orb. Of the thirty suns nearest yours, only three are brighter.

Here are list of those suns.. We should start here, since it is likely the Urantia Book authors would only have mentioned our starry neighbors since it was in the context of life-bearing worlds.

These are our closest neighbors:

(Note that this list is continually changing as astronomers discover nearby stars with ever more sensitive detectors in a variety of spectral ranges, especially the infrared, where numerous small stars emit their energy. Recall that the brightest magnitudes are the largest negative numbers.)

Common Name

Scientific Name

Distance (light years)

Apparent Magnitude

Absolute Magnitude

Spectral Type

Sun

-26.72

4.8

G2V

Proxima Centauri

V645 Cen

4.2

11.05 (var.)

15.5

M5.5Vc

Rigil Kentaurus

Alpha Cen A

4.3

-0.01

4.4

G2V

Alpha Cen B

4.3

1.33

5.7

K1V

Barnard’s Star

6.0

9.54

13.2

M3.8V

Wolf 359

CN Leo

7.7

13.53 (var.)

16.7

M5.8Vc

BD +36 2147

8.2

7.50

10.5

M2.1Vc

Luyten 726-8A

UV Cet A

8.4

12.52 (var.)

15.5

M5.6Vc

Luyten 726-8B

UV Cet B

8.4

13.02 (var.)

16.0

M5.6Vc

Sirius A

Alpha CMa A

8.6

-1.46

1.4

A1Vm

Sirius B

Alpha CMa B

8.6

8.3

11.2

DA

Ross 154

9.4

10.45

13.1

M3.6Vc

Ross 248

10.4

12.29

14.8

M4.9Vc

Epsilon Eri

10.8

3.73

6.1

K2Vc

Ross 128

10.9

11.10

13.5

M4.1V

61 Cyg A (V1803 Cyg)

11.1

5.2 (var.)

7.6

K3.5Vc

61 Cyg B

11.1

6.03

8.4

K4.7Vc

Epsilon Ind

11.2

4.68

7.0

K3Vc

BD +43 44 A

11.2

8.08

10.4

M1.3Vc

BD +43 44 B

11.2

11.06

13.4

M3.8Vc

Luyten 789-6

11.2

12.18

14.5

Procyon A

Alpha CMi A

11.4

0.38

2.6

F5IV-V

Procyon B

Alpha CMi B

11.4

10.7

13.0

DF

BD +59 1915 A

11.6

8.90

11.2

M3.0V

BD +59 1915 B

11.6

9.69

11.9

M3.5V

CoD -36 15693

11.7

7.35

9.6

M1.3Vc

If directions to these stars were included, you could make a map and see that they are distributed around us more or less randomly.

What can we learn from this information? Quite a lot.

  • We live very close (500 lightseconds) to a star. This is probably a necessary condition for the origination and maintenance of life.
  • Stars are very far apart (average about 8 light years for the closest dozen), compared to their size (about 2 light seconds for the Sun); by a factor of 250 million or so.
  • Many stars occur in multiple systems, shown here by the suffixes A, B and C from brightest to dimmest. In fact, about 55% of stars in this list are in multiple systems. The nearest star is a triple. And we may be missing many dim stars.
  • Most of the nearby stars are dimmer (higher numbers for absolute magnitude) than our Sun, by factors of 100 to 10,000.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s