For three decades, humans have searched for signs of intelligent life beyond Earth, and yet we’ve only sampled a tiny drop of our vast cosmic ocean. If we’re ever to find a radio-hot, spacefaring civilization, we need to know where to point our telescopes.
But the answer may be simpler than we thought. According to a new study, there are roughly 150 brilliant patches of space that deserve our attention.
They’re called globular clusters, an evocative term for ancient, gravitationally-bound regions of space that can pack a whopping million stars per hundred cubic light years. Once thought to be uninhabitable, new research by Rosanne Di Stefano of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Alak Ray of the Tata Institute in Mumbai suggests that globular clusters may, in fact, be the ideal places for advanced civilizations to flourish.
Di Stefano presented her fascinating idea at the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society today.