US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The article, published by the astrophysicist Daniel Whitmire in the publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, gives a new perspective on which galaxies are most likely to show intelligent life forms. Whitmire’s work refutes the theory put forward in 2015, according to which the greatest probability of the appearance of the mind is precisely in giant elliptical galaxies.
The authors of a five-year-old study, British scientists led by astrophysicist Pratika Dayal of Durham University, claimed that there are a lot of stars in giant elliptical galaxies and a relatively low proportion of potentially deadly supernovae. This increases the chance of the existence of planets in habitable zones around the stars and reduces the likelihood that a supernova outbreak will destroy the nascent life.
However, Whitmire believes that the conclusions of this work are contrary to the so-called Copernicus principle of mediocrity. Its meaning boils down to the fact that an object should be considered typical of its class and not out of the ordinary, unless there is clear evidence to the contrary. For example, as applied to the Earth, the Copernican principle indicates that our planet does not occupy any special place in the Universe and is no exception. So, there must be other planets with similar conditions on which protein life can appear.
Therefore, the Earth and the technological civilization developing on it should be a typical object, analogues of which exist in other parts of the Universe. This means that the location of such objects should also be typical, and the probability of finding an inhabited planet in a spiral galaxy (such as the Milky Way) should be significantly higher than in an elliptical galaxy.
In his article, Whitmire also offers an explanation of why elliptical galaxies are not suitable for the role of “cradles of life.” “The evolution of elliptical galaxies is completely different from the [evolution] of the Milky Way,” says the scientist. “In the early phase of the development of these galaxies, the radiation was so strong that it would simply completely destroy any inhabited planets.”
According to the astrophysicist, at the later stages of the development of such galaxies, the speed of star formation also almost drops to zero, which, in turn, reduces the chances of the appearance of new habitable zones in which planets can form. Whitmire believes that it is best to look for intelligent life in SB-type galaxies – spiral with a jumper, such as the Milky Way.
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