Study Suggests Star Clusters Might Host Intelligent Civilizations

The approximately 150 globular clusters in our galaxy are old and stable, a plus for any civilization.

Globular star clusters like this one, 47 Tucanae, might be excellent places to search for interstellar civilizations. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team via the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Globular star clusters like this one, 47 Tucanae, might be excellent places to search for interstellar civilizations. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team via the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Clusters of stars on the fringes of our Milky Way galaxy may be home to intelligent life. That's that word from an astrophysicist who's new to probing extraterrestrial territory.

Rosanne DiStefano (dee STEF-uh-no) of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, presented her theory Wednesday at the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting in Kissimmee (kuh-SIMM-ee) Florida.

Globular star clusters like this one, 47 Tucanae, might be excellent places to search for interstellar civilizations. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team via the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)Globular star clusters like this one, 47 Tucanae, might be excellent places to search for interstellar civilizations. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team via the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

DiStefano said the approximately 150 globular clusters in our galaxy are old and stable, a plus for any civilization. In addition, so many stars are clumped together it would be easy to hop from one planet to another, keeping an advanced society going.

She says the first step is to locate more planets in these clusters. So far, only one has been found.

More in Aerospace