STATES CHRONICLE – Alien life is a subject that has fascinated our culture for a very long time. Not only is the existence of extraterrestrial life forms a certainty, but the fact that we haven’t encountered any alien civilizations is deeply concerning for those looking into the field. But maybe we just weren’t looking in the right places, as intelligent alien life may be present in globular star clusters.
The paper was presented by Rosanne Di Stefano, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics news conference during the 227th edition of the American Astronomical Society.
It talks about how there are clusters of hundreds of thousands, or even millions of stars scattered throughout the Milky Way, and how and why they could be the home to an alien civilization.
Throughout the Milky Way, there are around 150 of these globular clusters, each of them containing about a million stars, and each of them packed tightly into an area with a diameter of about 100 light years.
According to the study’s author, such a cluster would be the ideal place for an advanced alien civilization to flourish, and they might as well be the place where we’ll discover the first signs of alien life.
Usually, the stars in globular star clusters are red dwarves. This means that they are smaller than the sun, and live much longer lives. This would greatly improve the chances of a life form developing on a nearby planet to actually evolve enough to be capable of sentience.
However, the red dwarves would also pose a very big problem, as they tend to spew out solar flares much more powerful than our own sun.
The thing about globular star clusters is that the stars in them are very close to one another, making interstellar communication fairly simple.
They are so close to each other, in fact, that sending a message from one star to the other would take as much as sending a letter from Europe to the U.S. in the 18th century. Scientists refer to this as globular cluster opportunity.
Since the stars are so close together, interstellar travel would also take significantly less time than it takes for us. Even us, at our technological level, would be able to send interstellar probes if we were to live in a globular star cluster.
Because of the globular star clusters being relatively young, about 10 billion years old, some are skeptical about the possibility of advanced life forms on any of those planets; however, that doesn’t mean that SETI shouldn’t send communications towards them, just in case.
Image source: Wikimedia