Planetary Radio • Jan 26, 2016

Civilizations Among the Clustered Stars?

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On This Episode

20160126 Rosanne Di Stefano thumbnail

Rosanne Di Stefano

Senior Astrophysicist for Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

New research indicates that globular clusters—collections of up to a million stars—could provide stable environments for life, along with opportunities for interstellar civilizations. Lead author Rosanne Di Stefano joins us to explain. Emily Lakdawalla and Bill Nye examine the science and excitement around “Planet 9.” “This Week in Space History” is just one feature of our What’s Up segment with Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan.

Messier 5
Messier 5 Messier 5 is a globular cluster containing hundreds of thousands of stars. It is about 25,000 light years from our solar system.Image: ESA / Hubble

This week's question:

Where in the solar system is Anthony Patera?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Tuesday, February 2nd at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

On plaques carried by the Pioneer 10 and 11 probes, Earth’s position in shown in relation to 14 what?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What and when was the first spacecraft flyby of a comet?


The International Cometary Explorer (ICE) flew through the tail of comet Giacobini-Zinner in 1985.