Scientists believe that globular star clusters, strange astronomical phenomena that can be found on the outer limits of the Milky Way, may be the most likely area of space to harbor alien life, according to the Daily Mail. The Milky Way currently has approximately 150 globular star clusters, most of them located on its outskirts, and each of them is extremely dense, holding about one million stars in a small ball that measures an average of just 100 light-years across.
"A globular cluster might be the first place in which intelligent life is identified in our galaxy," said Rosanne DiStefano of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
Globular star clusters in the Milky Way are ancient astronomical areas that date back almost to the birth of the Milky Way, with each one possessing an average lifespan of around 10 billion years.
If planets do exist in globular star clusters, the stars contained in them would likely be small and tranquil and lack any potential supernovas, according to National Geographic.
"In a way, it would be very serene to live in a globular cluster," said DiStefano.
To date, only one planet has been found in a globular star cluster, although DiStefano believes we should continue searching for more, according to NBC News.
Despite these claims, some scientists believe that the stars contained in these clusters likely possess an insufficient amount of the heavy elements, such as iron and silicon, needed to create planets, and thus are not likely hosts for alien life.
The research was presented by DiStefano at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society Jan. 7.