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Study: Star clusters might host intelligent civilizations

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posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 01:37 PM
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SOURCE: MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

Snippet:

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Clusters of stars on the fringes of our Milky Way galaxy may be home to intelligent life. That's that word from an astrophysicist who's new to probing extraterrestrial territory.


Rosanne DiStefano of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge apparently dropped this on an annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Interesting as I have thought of this myself with regard to the Pleiades and other star clusters as getting to a near by star would be quite a bit technically easier if they were closer together.

Found the original paper source: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


edit on 01pm2016-01-06T13:56:39-06:0001561America/Chicago56131 by machineintelligence because: added source


edit on 01pm2016-01-06T14:21:10-06:0002211America/Chicago21131 by machineintelligence because: added image




posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: machineintelligence

That's interesting. Very short article with little-to-no information presented, so I hope you or someone else is able to dig a lil deeper and find more.

At first glance, my question is this: how does having stars clustered together make planet-hopping any easier? Once you're able to achieve interstellar travel, it stands to reason planet-hopping would be easier.



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 02:11 PM
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a reply to: machineintelligence

Interesting as I have thought of this myself with regard to the Pleiades and other star clusters as getting to a near by star would be quite a bit technically easier if they were closer together.

Star and flag just for that sentence. Awesome thinking!



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 02:13 PM
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a reply to: machineintelligence

Why arent the aliens already here?
Maybe they already are and they're softening us for disclosure - Meet your new Reptilian Overlords

Ever read the Fermi paradox? It sounds logical, but once you look past it you would surmise that they are here, just hiding from us.

Fermi paradox
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 02:19 PM
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originally posted by: machineintelligence
Interesting as I have thought of this myself with regard to the Pleiades and other star clusters as getting to a near by star would be quite a bit technically easier if they were closer together.

The Pleiades are a poor example, considering they are extremely young stars (less than 100 million years old).

DiStefano's ideas are more in regards to older more stable clusters of a million stars packed into a small area of only 100 LY or so, with stars that have been around for a while.

One problem with DiStefano's ideas are that the stars in globular clusters may be TOO old (10 billion years or more old), and those stars may not be as metal-rich are later generation stars such as our sun. Our Sun is made up of material from a few past generations of stars that have lived and died in the past, allowing our Solar system to have heavy elements (elements that are only made inside stars and as the result of supernova explosions).

DiStefano contends that it may not be the case that metal-poor clusters will have fewer planets. She says that stars with even 1/10 the metalicity of our sun may be able to have rocky planets orbiting them.




edit on 1/6/2016 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: BeefNoMeat

I found additional source with more info and added it to the OP.



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 02:26 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I had not yet read the added source at the time I posted that to the OP. I think it could have been chosen by an advanced civilization for that reason though. That and being younger would make a home for a longer duration for the advanced and likely long lived civilization that colonized it.



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 02:28 PM
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originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

DiStefano's ideas are more in regards to older more stable clusters of a million stars packed into a small area of only 100 LY or so, with stars that have been around for a while.


I realize 100 LY is a large area, but with a million stars would it not be a little warm?



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 02:40 PM
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The interactions would be highly complex, two stable suns would need to be a certain distance apart for instance, a gas bag like Jupiter can make our sun wobble just a bit, plus all the other interactions of other planets and moons like we have in our solar system. That's terribly complex on it's own, 'clusters' of stars, or rather clusters of solar systems would make the complexity exponential.



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 02:48 PM
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a reply to: BeefNoMeat

how does having stars clustered together make planet-hopping any easier? Once you're able to achieve interstellar travel, it stands to reason planet-hopping would be easier.


It says in the article actually, wait, it says in this one.. (There are a couple sources posted)

So, in comparison, the closest star to us is Alpha Centuri, off hand it's ~4 Light Years away. From that article: 24 Trillion Miles.

To note: There have been a number of mission proposed that involve travelling to Alpha Centuri, or sending probes. Project Orion was one of those. It was going to use Nuclear explosions to power a spacecraft, and the idea was it could boom itself right out of the solar system to the nearest star. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) it was scrapped when concerns over Nuclear fallout became a relevant issue, and nuclear testing all around slowed down.


Orion would have offered performance greater than the most advanced conventional or nuclear rocket engines then under consideration. Supporters of Project Orion felt that it had potential for cheap interplanetary travel, but it lost political approval over concerns with fallout from its propulsion.[2]

The Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 is generally acknowledged to have ended the project.


In any case, most of the proposed methods of travelling to Alpha Centuri had the trip pegged from anywhere between 60-150 years. There were also some unfeasible versions, taking 1000+ years. (Obviously that wouldn't work)


At 0.1c, Orion thermonuclear starships would require a flight time of at least 44 years to reach Alpha Centauri, not counting time needed to reach that speed (about 36 days at constant acceleration of 1g or 9.8 m/s2). At 0.1c, an Orion starship would require 100 years to travel 10 light years. The astronomer Carl Sagan suggested that this would be an excellent use for current stockpiles of nuclear weapons.[17]


A few serious ones, were generational flights. So the idea is a giant ship leaves for Alpha Centuri, the crew has babies, train their children to pilot the ship and by the time it returns we are welcoming back the children/grandchildren of the astro-crew we sent.

It's easy to see why these ideas are hard to realize in real life. Funding is extreme, beyond any other space mission ever done. The risks are greater than anything taken on by man. The possibility for failure is higher than any other space project. And there are moral and ethical considerations as well.

In comparison, the author of the study notes that in a globular cluster that the nearest stars would be only a trillion miles away. That is 1/10th the distance that our satellite Voyager has already travelled. In other words, if we lived in a cluster, we'd probably already be out at the nearest star by now.

The other projects proposed for getting to Aplha Centuri, they would probably get us to the nearest star in a cluster, in about 2-10 years.

So that's the point they were making, that for a civilization living in that part of space, and especially for multiple civilizations, they have a much higher chance of being able to see one another, talk to one another, and certainly reach one another. The fact they would be in such close proximity, even without communication, would most likely give the civilization a massive drive/motivation towards seeking out other planets and visiting other stars.




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Clusters were not thought to be great places to look for life. They are old systems with long burning stars. Their stars contain less heavy elements than in other areas of the galaxy (Iron & Silicon). This is bad for life, since Iron in the core gives our a magnetosphere, and it would do the same for any other planets out there, protecting them from deadly radiation, making it easier for life to form and survive.

The Author doesn't have a whole lot to say on this point, other than "it's too pessimistic", but it's pessimistic for a reason. They cite that exoplanets have been found in stars which are 1/10th as iron rich as our sun, but again, it's ignoring the importance of the magnetosphere it seems like. They do mention that smaller Earth-sized planets are everywhere, and heavy element rich stars only have more Jupiter sized planets around them.


-----------------------------------



Who care? The American Astronomical Society... This was simply a presentation given at an AAS Conference. This one, to be specific.

In a couple weeks, you will be able to Go Here, and find the web-casts for this conference:




Press Conference: Black Holes, Andromeda Galaxy, Small-Planet Masses
Press Conference: VANDAM Radio Survey, Stellar Bow Shocks, Gas-Cloud Mystery
Press Conference: Life in Clusters, Red-Giant Cores, Eta Carinae Twins, Star-Forming Galaxies
Seminar for Science Writers: Beyond Hubble & Webb
Seminar for Science Writers: Science from SOFIA
Press Conference: Fermi's Vision, First Stars, Massive Galaxy Cluster, Dark Matter
Press Conference: Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV




edit on 6-1-2016 by boncho because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-1-2016 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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originally posted by: VoidHawk

originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People



DiStefano's ideas are more in regards to older more stable clusters of a million stars packed into a small area of only 100 LY or so, with stars that have been around for a while.





I realize 100 LY is a large area, but with a million stars would it not be a little warm?



Yes! Warm to say the least.
Of course, we feel our sun's heat because we have an atmosphere which is heated as it blocks much of the radiation.
My main question is about how much of an atmosphere could survive the radiation coming from so many stars so close together.



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 04:23 PM
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originally posted by: tinymind

originally posted by: VoidHawk

originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People



DiStefano's ideas are more in regards to older more stable clusters of a million stars packed into a small area of only 100 LY or so, with stars that have been around for a while.





I realize 100 LY is a large area, but with a million stars would it not be a little warm?



Yes! Warm to say the least.
Of course, we feel our sun's heat because we have an atmosphere which is heated as it blocks much of the radiation.
My main question is about how much of an atmosphere could survive the radiation coming from so many stars so close together.


This is a very important question. If life can only be as durable as life on Earth then the chances for life existing in clusters or densely packed arms of a galaxy are highly unlikely. Our Sun is in a realtivly quiet area of our galaxy between some arms. It has been theorized that life can only emerge in such conditions.

It is also important to note that our Sun is a sixth generation star which is why our planet is so rich with heavy metals and such. The combination of a violent past with a calm period seems to have worked out for us. It would be interesting to learn that life exists in other areas of space with saturation of deadly radiation and how robust that life would be.



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 10:26 PM
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Don’t get too excited.

The clusters referred to are very old and very far away. They aren’t even in the Milky Way; they are part of the Galactic halo.

Short of magical new physics, humans will never reach them.



posted on Jan, 6 2016 @ 11:07 PM
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They may. They may not. Same thing anyone else could tell you.



posted on Jan, 7 2016 @ 10:56 AM
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a reply to: machineintelligence

Is it just me or doesn't it sound like basic logic?

Search an area with increased numbers of stars, which most of those stars are Suns like our own, with a high likelihood of orbiting planets around them means that chances of intelligent life arising there seem more likely than elsewhere in a less dense location of Stars/Suns etc.


edit on 7-1-2016 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



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