The 2013 data from the Kepler Mission gives a current estimate of the number of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone
of sun-like stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, as 144 billion. We propose that this estimate has caused a consciousness
change in human belief in the probability of life off Earth. This seems to have affected NASA's public statements which
are now leaning to the more visionary mission goal of the "Search for Life" rather than the 1975-2012 focus of the
"Search for Water".
We propose that the first confirmed Earth-like planet, expected to be announced later this year, be called "BORUCKI" in
honour of the visionary USA scientist Bill Borucki, the father of the Kepler Mission.
We explore the 2013 status of the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model of Panspermia, its hypothesis, propositions,
experiments and evidence. We use the Karl Popper model for scientific hypotheses (1).
Finally we explore Sir Fred Hoyle's vision of a planetary microbe defense system we call the Hoyle Shield. We explore
the subsystem components of the shield and assess some options for these components using break-though technologies
William E. Smith, '2013 – Life is a Cosmic Phenomenon : The "Search for Water" evolves into the "Search for Life",' in Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XVI, edited by Richard B. Hoover, Gilbert V. Levin, Alexei Y. Rozanov, Nalin C. Wickramasinghe, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 8865 (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2013) 88650Q (September 26, 2013); doi:10.1117/12.2046862
Journal of Cosmology 2013 Vol. 22 pp 10219-10246
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
William Edward Smith (2014), "Life is a Cosmic Phenomenon," http://astrobiologyfuture.org/resources/75.