Scientists at NASA and astronomers everywhere seem to be growing more and more excited about the prospects for life on other worlds.
They have discovered that there are three times as many stars as previously thought.
They have found a microbe on Earth that can live on arsenic, about as harsh an environment as can be found.
And a potentially habitable planet has been found.
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"The evidence is just getting stronger and stronger," Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute which studies the origins, evolution and possibilities of life in the universe, told The Associated Press.
"I think anybody looking at this evidence is going to say, 'There's got to be life out there,' " Pitcher added.
One of the contributions to life in space folklore came from a former editor of the Tri-City Herald, William C. Bequette, who still lives in Kennewick.
On June 24, 1947, (a year before he joined the Herald staff) he interviewed Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot who reported mysterious objects flying over Mount Rainier.
Arnold described them as flying like saucers skipped across a pond, and in his story, Bequette coined the phrase "flying saucers."
The incident and the phrase became an instant and permanent part of our culture.
People have been looking for flying saucers' return ever since.
Some, as did the parents of a 6-year-old boy in Larimer County, Colo., have gone so far as to fashion a flying saucer out of a metallic-skinned balloon. The boy was not, as first reported, actually aboard the balloon.
So the interest in other-worldly life continues among the scientific community and ordinary people who react to the idea of beings from another world with, "that would be cool."
And they like the odds, given the size of our universe suggests to them.
The largest named numbers in mathematics are googol and googolplex.
A googol is a 1 with 100 zeroes after it.
A googol first was described as a 1 with zeroes written after it "until your arm got tired." That later was changed to a specific number with a googol of zeroes behind it.
These are the kinds of odds the astronomers and folks at NASA are talking about.
Surely that number of chances will result in life elsewhere, goes the logic.
But it would be a mistake to rely on math as a guarantee.
What's a googolplex times zero?
The math theory is that the universe is trying to create life and it's a mistake to think it happened only once.
Maybe that's not right at all.
"I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world," Albert Einstein said.
Filling all the blackboards in all the universities in the world with equations never will convince most of us that we are not alone.
But if they find a carrot growing on Mars?
That would do it.
So would music from a long, long way away.