Prepare for departure! And I don’t mean on United Airlines, whose slogan now reads, “Fly the friendly skies. Ha ha, just kidding.”
I mean, “To the moon, Alice!” Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, was recently discovered to have nearly perfect conditions for life, NASA said last week.
“We now know that Enceladus has almost all of the ingredients . . . to support life as we know it on Earth,” said Linda Spilker, a scientist from NASA’s Cassini project, which made the discovery. Enceladus offers life-sustaining hydrogen, a saltwater ocean and an 18-hole golf course. The first two are actually true.
However, there are no signs yet that Enceladus can support intelligent life. Perfect! We have plenty of less-than-intelligent life to shoot its way. Just look at how some human specimens greeted this news from NASA: “Great — send the Commies up there!”
NASA also reported that the Hubble telescope found evidence that Jupiter’s moon Europa is spouting water plumes similar to those on Enceladus, as we continue to explore the possibility of life in outer space. The agency has disclosed plans to launch a mission to Europa in the 2020s. “We need to probe [both of] them,” said NASA’s director of planetary science, Jim Green.
But do we really want to introduce our way of life to neighbors in our solar system? The hatreds? The MOAB (mother of all bombs)? The Kardashians? And while we continue to “probe them,” how about the possibility of hyperintelligent space aliens probing us?
Perhaps they are checking us out as you read this. But according to famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, we have nothing to fear from aliens light years smarter than we are.
“A sufficiently intelligent civilization would have positively no interest in us at all,” said Tyson at the 2016 Starmus Festival in Spain. They’d view us “the same way as when you’re walking down a street and there’s a worm.” You might want to kill a few, he surmises, but you’d soon get bored.
“Maybe our biggest protection against being killed by alien civilizations is their conclusion there’s no intelligent life on Earth,” he said.
Wow, Tyson really knows how to hurt an earthling.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.