Technology

I’m a space scientist and I think I know where in our galaxy aliens might live

A TOP space scientist has claimed he knows the best places to look for extraterrestrial life.

Universe Today reports that Benjamin Zuckerman, a now-retired US astrophysicist, believes that small, dense stars called white dwarfs could be home to advanced civilizations.

White dwarfs are small and extremely dense stars

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White dwarfs are small and extremely dense starsCredit: PA

In a paper last month, he argued that recent improvements in telescope technology mean we can now easily identify alien outposts.

Prof. Zuckerman’s controversial theory assumes the existence of Dyson spheres, which experts have been searching for for decades.

They are theoretical structures that aliens could build around a star to harvest its energy.

Of course, a Dyson Sphere has never been found, and there is no evidence that it exists.

However, if this were the case, the structures would be a defining feature of an intelligent civilization capable of harnessing the resources of a planetary system.

Zuckerman, a former UCLA professor who has published hundreds of articles and books, believes white dwarfs represent our best chance of finding one.

That’s because the giant contraptions would alter the stars’ infrared signatures, making them easy to locate.

White dwarfs are fairly ubiquitous in our galaxy, Prof. Zuckerman said, and give off a lot of heat.

That heat could potentially be absorbed by a Dyson Sphere structure and power an extraterrestrial civilization, he claimed.

The astronomer argues that infrared data already collected by newer satellites could be searched for signs of extraterrestrial life.

These satellites include the Spitzer, WISE, TESS, and Kepler telescopes.

“It has been hypothesized that advanced technological civilizations will establish vast space colonies and supporting infrastructure to orbit their home stars,” Prof. Zuckerman wrote.

“With data from more recent satellites… it is now possible to narrow the frequency of such space-based civilizations in our Milky Way by observation.”

The scientist made some calculations as to how many extraterrestrial civilizations might be out there.

He believes less than three percent of the habitable planets orbiting Sun-like stars harbor life that formed a Dyson Sphere.

That still leaves us with a few million to watch out for should his outlandish theory prove correct.

Prof. Zuckerman is no stranger to controversy, having previously spoken out on the alien issue.

His paper is likely to spark debate among astronomers, many of whom argue that Dyson spheres don’t exist because they just wouldn’t work.

For now, Dyson Spheres remain firmly in the realm of fiction.

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They have appeared in films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Elysium, as well as the TV show Star Trek.

The research was published in the preprint journal Arxiv.

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