A Long Time ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far away…

Kathrine - Conway, Arkansas
Entered on September 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe there is life on other planets.

When I was younger, I was introduced to a wonderful little bit of media called Star Wars. I, like many others who grew up with these movies, wondered how amazing it would be to meet some of the characters and alien species that were in them.

This of course is simply the wish of a child, and as I grew up, I realized that these movies were just that—movies. But even knowing this, my sense of wonder at the thought of meeting an alien remained, and would never be banished. Then I began to think about the scientific side of this. It’s entirely possible that there could be life on other planets, intelligent or not.

When you think about it, what are the odds that our tiny little planet called Earth is the only one with any form of life? There must be others capable of supporting life.

Earth is the third planet from the star, ‘Sol,’ which is just one of billions of other stars in our Milky Way galaxy. The vast majority of these other stars have their own planets, so who’s to say that none of these can possibly support life? Maybe not even our type of life, but some form of it.

Our planet supports life because it is just the right distance from the sun to be not too cold, and not too hot for the creatures that inhabit it. Seventy-five percent of our planet’s surface is covered in water, something else that is necessary for life. It may seem miraculous that Earth has all the necessities for life, but at the same time, it could also just be a coincidence. There must be other planets with similar environments out there in the vast universe, and even if the life is nothing more than single-celled organisms, it’s still life. For all we know, there could be civilizations out there that are far more advanced than our own.

It’s probably the romanticism of movies like Star Wars that makes me want to believe in life on other planets, but the odds point to the fact that it is incredibly possible that there are other planets like our own, or maybe unlike our own, but still have life on them, maybe nearby, or maybe ‘In a galaxy far, far away.’