I’ve been looking at pictures from the Hubble telescope lately and thinking about the huge number of stars in the universe. I found myself wondering how life on Earth fits into the context of such vastness.
At this point in history, it feels pretty lonely out here. No aliens coming to invade us, no other planets to talk to, not even a Facebook message from another galaxy. The closest thing we’ve got to a sign of neighboring life is a few trickles of water on Mars.
If Earth were truly the only planet in the universe with life, how special would that make us, exactly?
I decided to take a closer look at the question in an interactive essay.