To search for an advanced civilization, take a U-turn to star clusters | Science News

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To search for an advanced civilization, take a U-turn to star clusters

Stable galactic neighborhoods, easy planet-hopping could provide long-term safe haven for life

5:47pm, January 7, 2016
Hercules Cluster

PRIME REAL ESTATE  Hundreds of thousands of stars fill the Hercules Cluster, seen in this Hubble image. Such a cluster could be an ideal cradle for long-lived advanced civilizations, a new study suggests.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Old, crowded star clusters might be the best place for an advanced civilization to survive in a harsh galaxy, a new study suggests.

Stable, long-lived stars in these clusters and the relative ease of hopping from one star system to the next could provide a safe space for any technologically savvy species that can leave its home and establish outposts around other stars. “The probability of a catastrophic event destroying such a civilization then becomes small,” said astronomer Rosanne Di Stefano. She presented the study January 7 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Globular star clusters pack hundreds of thousands of stars into balls just a few hundred light-years across. They’re also ancient; at over 10 billion years old, many have been around for as long as the galaxy. All of the

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