A Simulation of the Settling of the Milky Way #SpaceSaturday

Let’s say there is a galaxy-spanning alien culture or federation that exists in our own galactic home, the Milky Way. What would that distribution look like? If it’s unlikely that such a federation developed near our own solar system or around any nearby star, what sort of exploration by that federation would be required to bump into a spacecraft from Earth? Here’s more from Centauri Dreams:

Ask Jason Wright (Penn State) and colleagues Jonathan Carroll-Nellenback and Adam Frank (University of Rochester) as well as Caleb Scharf (Columbia University), whose analysis of galaxies in transition has now produced a fine visual aid. Described in a short paper in Research Notes of the AAS, the simulation makes a major point: If civilizations last long enough to produce star-crossing technologies, then technosignatures may be widespread, found in venues across the galaxy.

The simulation depicts the expansion of a technological civilization through the Milky Way, created along lines previously described in the literature by the authors (citation below). What we are looking at is the transition between a Kardashev Type II civilization (here defined as a species using its technology in a significant fraction of the space around the host star), and a Type III, which has spread throughout the galaxy. Wright has argued in earlier work that, contra Sagan and others, this might be a fast process considering the motions of stars themselves, which would overcome the inertia of slower growing settlements and boost expansion rates.

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