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KateTheGreat's avatar

Have you ever thought that there was another planet like the Earth out in the rest of the universe?

Asked by KateTheGreat (13635points) April 21st, 2011

I find myself thinking about this often. Do you ever think that there is another Earth-like planet out in the universe somewhere? If so, what do you think it’s like?

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27 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I have my doubts, but I like the idea. Earth is the perfect distance from the sun, with a moon that stabilizes its rotation causing predictable seasons, more or less, and makes it inhabitable. I remember once reading that the moon is some sort of lucky event where a celestial body flying or floating by the earth was pulled into its gravitational pull, and the two, earth and the moon, were forever united in a special symbiosis of sorts. Not sure if the thinking is different on that now? I am not up on astronomy and the universe at all. So, anyway, this would mean statisically for a similar “earth” to be somewhere is unlikely.

But, anything is possilbe. The universe is so vast.

chocolatechip's avatar

Statistically, it would be impossible for there NOT to be.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@JLeslie while most of that is true, I think that technically it isn’t so permanent. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the moon is actually moving away from us very slowly, but steadily.

Sure, I think it’s possible. I am sure there are other planets out there that sustain life, or have sustained life in the past. I can’t guess what they are like, but I have to imagine that they have water. ;]

shego's avatar

I’d like to think there is. I have always thought about. But then again my mind has always ran like crazy.
When I was younger I was a major sci-fi geek, and I always thought there were other planets that support human life.
I also think that it possible that planet has life on it other than some micro organisms.

JLeslie's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Yeah, forever and permanenet would be a bad choice of words on my part.

flutherother's avatar

If the Universe is infinite as some have suggested then it is certain that somewhere there will be a world identical to the Earth and thousands of other worlds that are only slightly different. We have already found around 500 planets beyond our Solar System and so there must be billions upon billions of planets in the galaxies we can see. That is a lot of throws of the dice, who knows what is out there.

augustlan's avatar

Always. It seems incredibly unlikely to me that we’re the only life in the universe. I’ve always wondered, too, if what eventually proves to be “life” might be overlooked by us at first, because it won’t be any kind of life we’re familiar with.

Now that I’m hooked on Fringe, sometimes I wonder about an alternate universe, too. Multi-verse, maybe?

ucme's avatar

When I was a kid….that’ll be yesterday then…...I firmly believed in a parallel universe type thingy. Of course, being a kid I put a weird slant on it. Basically I thought there was another earth out there, precisely the same, only being lived one hour in advance of us. I always wondered what i’d be doing in this identical world an hour from now, never did find out.

marinelife's avatar

I think that there is very likely other life in the universe.

tedd's avatar

I don’t think there are, I know there are.

The universe is gargantuan… the planet earth would be but a single grain of sand along every coastline on the planet, if ever grain were another planet…. there is no way that there is not another planet that is the exact distance away from the sun.

Qingu's avatar

We’ve directly seen dozens (hundreds) of other planets around other stars, and those are mostly the Jupiter-sized ones that readily show up on our ‘scopes.

Planets appear to be very common in the universe.

Another rocky planet with water, a similar distance from a similar star to our sun, would seem to be almost a certainty in a universe as unimaginably huge as ours.

The issue isn’t whether another planet like ours exists, the issue is whether such a planet exists in a way that is feasible for us to ever reach or communicate with. That’s the flipside of the universe being huge.

erichw1504's avatar

I think there could be many. Who really knows how big the universe is?

beckk's avatar

The universe is enormous and we can’t even make it out of our own galaxy. So, I definitely believe that there could be another planet very similar to Earth in another galaxy.

AstroChuck's avatar

Well, let’s see. It’s estimated that there are about 300 billion stars in the Milky Way, which is considered an average sized galaxy. Astronomers reckon there are at least 100 billion galaxies (which is a very conservative number) in just the observable universe alone.
So let’s do the math. 300,000,000,000×100,000,000,000 = 30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
So with at least 3×10 to the 21st power (or three sextillion, if you prefer) stars in just the observable universe, I would imagine there are an uncountable amount of Earth-like planets. And if you expand that to the Multiverse…

mattbrowne's avatar

More and more evidence points to a likelihood of at least 99.999% of billions of Earth-like habitable planets in the entire universe. The number is a lot smaller when we just looked at the Milky Way. And habitable planets do not necessarily produce beings able to create radio waves. There might be worms on a planet 200 light years away, but they won’t talk to us.

erichw1504's avatar

@mattbrowne Or a different species of worms called vorms.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

I think there are billions of Earth like planets scattered through the universe. Although Earth like may not be the true measure of a life bearing planet. Somewhere out there there is another being thinking the same thing as you.

flutherother's avatar

I used to imagine a planet revolving around our sun at the same distance as the earth but on the opposite side where we could never see it. A planet that might be very similar to the Earth.

AstroChuck's avatar

@mattbrowne- What did we do to piss off the worms to the point where they won’t talk to us?

stardust's avatar

I think it’s very likely that there are many planets that sustain life throughout the universe.

antimatter's avatar

AstroChuck we have a history using worms for fish bait.
And yes there is an infinate amount of planets out there with that simply wount talk to us.

plethora's avatar

Yes, I have wondered about that…...but, at this point, I do not believe it is likely. The earth is unique in a huge number of ways.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@plethora We haven’t studied enough other planets to know if the Earth is truly unique.

plethora's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet True…and I don’t know if the Earth is truly unique either. I do not believe another similar planet is likely because of the many ways that the Earth is unique. But that is certainly not the final word on it. Just my opinion.

antimatter's avatar

Who ever lives on their planets will think their worlds will be unique.

mattbrowne's avatar

@plethora – This might help

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis

If Earth-like means leading to complex life (or even intelligent life) such planets might be rare, perhaps 1 in 10,000 galaxies (still a lot of planets). If it means leading to simple life it could be several planets per galaxy.

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