However there are more supernovae in the center of our galaxy, given the abundance of massive stars, the vigorous star formation rates, and the closer proximity of stars.
But the expected preponderance of planets in the core outweighs the supernova risk say the researchers. What's more, a planet could be irradiated several times but evolve life at a later stage. For example the heavy asteroid bombardment of Earth 4 billion years ago may have wiped out emerging life, but it managed to resurface again at 3.7 billion years.
The team calculates that across the galaxy, 1.2 percent of all stars have planets that could support advanced life. That's over 1 billion worlds. According to this study the hub of the galaxy contains the most planets suitable for life. The team calculates 2.7 percent of the planets in the core are habitable, while only .25 percent in the outer rim are habitable. Therefore, the core is a likely place to look for advanced civilizations.
In the 1985 Carl Sagan novel Contact, a wormhole interstellar transportation system built by an ancient extraterrestrial civilization carries Earthlings to the core of the galaxy, where they encounter aliens who make use of this legacy transit system.
Science fiction aside, the new galaxy habitability model bolsters my belief that the legendary "WOW signal," a mysterious minute long burst of radio waves detected in 1977, was a form of an interstellar Twitter. It came from the direction of the heart of our galaxy in Sagittarius. I've always held that the location is more than coincidental in this cosmic ghost tale.
Sagittarius could be the most promising sweet spot for SETI surveys - though the WOW signal has never returned and therefore remains inconsequential. Nevertheless, it has been speculated that civilization might chose to send a transmission in the exactly opposite direction from the galactic core. This would be a logical sightline for anyone inhabiting the galaxy to monitor for a beam from E.T.
Image credits: ESO, NASA