To Touch the Light of Faraway Planets

The Big Idea | Calculations | The Institute | Demonstration

Every hour of the day or night, light from close stars and distant galaxies rains down on the earth. This light is a tiny fraction of the light that comes from the sun but it is there all the same. A tiny fraction of this special light was reflected off planets, and a tiny, estimable percentage of that light is from intelligently inhabited planets. Every second you expose your skin to the sky, you are in contact with this special light. The longer you expose more skin to the clear sky, the more special that contact can be. This page explores this idea and invites you to participate.

By Dennis Webb (, November 28, 1997.