Alien breakthrough: THIS is where to search in the hunt for extraterrestrial life

Researchers have found giant elliptical galaxies are not as likely to house life as previously thought. In 2015, a study argued elliptical galaxies are 10,000 more times more likely to host habitable planets which support life than spiral galaxies. The Milky Way galaxy, where we reside, is a spiral galaxy which has arms of star clusters swirling from its centre and are flat, whereas elliptical galaxies are ancient galaxies, which were smooth and three-dimensional.

The research from 2015 stated as elliptical galaxies are older, they are less volatile in terms of star supernovae and have more settled stars which could support life.

However, new research from the University of Arkansas (U of A) believes the most probable place to find technology-reliant civilisations like our own would indeed be in spiral galaxies, and the research has a simple argument to abide by.

The Copernican Principle is a theory which states in the absence of evidence to the contrary, an object or some property of an object should be considered typical of its class rather than atypical.

In other words, with no proof to suggest otherwise, we are the norm and there will be civilisations like us in areas like ours.

This would mean the best place to look for aliens is in spiral galaxies as it is the only place we know where life exists - i.e. Earth.

Daniel Whitmire, a retired professor of astrophysics who is an instructor in the U of A Department of Mathematical Sciences, said: “The 2015 paper had a serious problem with the principle of mediocrity.

“In other words, why don't we find ourselves living in a large elliptical galaxy? To me this raised a red flag.

"Any time you find yourself as an outlier, i.e. atypical, then that is a problem for the principle of mediocrity.”

Prof Whitmore also outlines another reason why elliptical galaxies may not be as suitable for life.

A statement from the U of A said: "They were awash in lethal radiation when they were younger and smaller, and they went through a series of quasar and star-burst supernovae events at that time."

Prof Whitmore added: “The evolution of elliptical galaxies is totally different than the Milky Way.

“These galaxies went through an early phase in which there is so much radiation that it would just completely have nuked any habitable planets in the galaxy and subsequently the star formation rate, and thus any new planets, went to essentially zero.

"There are no new stars forming and all the old stars have been irradiated and sterilized.”

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