By Sam Killenberg
In mid-April, NASA’s Kepler space observatory made news when it discovered a series of planets in a distant galaxy that could harbor life.
Each of these planets occupies the so-called “Goldilocks zone”, meaning they are just the right distance away from their sun to have water and, therefore, life. Located in the distant Kepler-62 galaxy, these planets are almost six trillion miles or 1200 light years away. Each planet is larger than Earth, and two in particular seem just right for life to flourish. Kepler 62-e is balmy, similar to Hawaii, and Kepler 62-f is a cold, Arctic world.
“This is the first one where I’m thinking ‘Huh, there really might be life on them’,” said study co-author David Charbonneau in an interview with the Associated Press. “This is a very important barrier that’s been crossed. Why wouldn’t there be life?”
But while these scientists are hopeful, the world should be fearful. Life on distant, mysterious planets sounds pretty cool, right? Wrong.
“If there’s life at all on those planets, it must be very advanced,” Kepler chief scientist William Borucki told the AP.
That’s right, Earthlings. These planets orbit a sun 2.5 billion years older than ours. That means any life that exists on these planets would have a major head start on good ol’ Homo sapiens.
Scientists are quick to cite the galactic question known as the Fermi paradox as a reason why we shouldn’t panic. In a nutshell, Fermi hypothesizes that even if a minuscule fraction of the billions of planets in our universe were capable of supporting human-like sentient life, the universe would already be crawling with starships as radio signals crisscrossed the galaxy. The fact that it isn’t, scientists claim, is confirmation that we are alone in the universe.
This is sound logic and also completely wrong. For an advanced species with superhuman intelligence like the tropical puma-wasps of Kepler 62-e or the bloodsucking giant ice eels of Kepler 62-f, going undetected by flimsy human technology is child’s play. For all we know, they are skimming the skies above us right now in their invisible hovercrafts, their many-eyed faces staring down on us with malevolence. They’re looking at you now! Quick, hide beneath this edition of the ECHO!
While scientists and the news media try to spin this into a story of hope and human potential, I am telling you from the safety of my concrete bunker that it is time to panic. These super-advanced extraterrestrials obviously have the upper hand/tentacle on us. If residents of the Kepler galaxy decide to make our planet their home, the human race is doomed. At best, these aliens will circumvent US immigration law, steal American jobs, and tank the global economy. At worst, they will enslave us, farm us like cattle, or wipe us out with space diseases. If an evil, heartless (and I mean this figuratively, but it could also be literal) race of aliens from the galaxy of Kepler-62 attempts to strike, we will be toast (also could be literal if the aliens breathe fire).
Last month, MIT space professor Sara Seager said, “We’ll possibly never know if these particular ones do have water oceans or signs of life.”
We’ll never know… until it’s too late.