Astronomers have searched the entire Milky Way to identify the safest places to live. It turns out, we’re in a pretty good spot.
But if the past year has made you feel ready to relocate to another planet, you might want to look toward the center of the galaxy, according to the new research.
The new findings were made by a group of Italian astronomers, who studied locations where powerful cosmic explosions may have killed off life. These explosions, such as supernovas and gamma-ray bursts, spew high-energy particles and radiation that can shred DNA and kill life. By this logic, regions that are more hospitable to life will be the ones without frequent explosions, the astronomers reasoned.
“Powerful cosmic explosions are not negligible for the existence of life in our galaxy throughout its cosmic history,” said lead author on the new study, Riccardo Spinelli, astronomer at the University of Insubria in Italy. “These events have played a role in jeopardizing life across most of the Milky Way.”