The Messier 80 globular cluster in the constellation Scorpius. Image Credit: NASA / Hubble
Scientists believe that globular clusters may be a good place to look for extraterrestrial civilizations.
While a manned mission to Mars is something that is likely to be achievable within the next few decades, sending humans beyond our own solar system will be another matter entirely.
Even at the speed of light, future explorers from Earth would take years to reach the next nearest star system and possibly even decades to reach the next nearest habitable planet.
There are however some areas of space where everything happens to be a lot closer together.
Globular clusters are extremely dense regions of space where anything up to a million stars can exist within an area measuring only 100 light years from one end to the other.
"A globular cluster might be the first place in which intelligent life is identified in our galaxy," said study lead author Rosanne DiStefano from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
"We call it the 'globular cluster opportunity'. Sending a broadcast between the stars wouldn't take any longer than a letter from US to Europe in the 18th century."
"Interstellar travel would take less time too. The Voyager probes are 100 billion miles from Earth, or one-tenth as far as it would take to reach the closest star if we lived in a globular cluster."
It's certainly not difficult to imagine an interstellar community of civilizations arising in such a region of space where communication and travel between worlds would be exponentially easier.
Source: Times of India | Comments (16)
Globular Cluster, Extraterrestrial