Study: Star clusters might host intelligent civilizations

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Kissimmee, Fla. (AP) – Clusters of stars on the fringes of our Milky Way galaxy may be home to intelligent life. That’s the 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, Jan. 6 at the American Astronomical Society’s annual meeting in Kissimmee (kuh-SIMM-ee) Florida.

This undated image made available by NASA shows the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. On Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, Rosanne DiStefano of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., said that clusters of stars on the fringes of our Milky Way galaxy may be home to intelligent life. (NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration via AP)

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.