An astronomer has drawn up a Top Ten of stars where alien civilisations are most likely to be found.
Margaret Turnbull chose targets in our galactic back yard as the best places to search for ET.
She suggests five of the stars be monitored by the SETI project – the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence – for alien radio signals.
Five more are offered because they could have Earth-like planets in orbit around them.
The stellar shortlist was drawn up from a catalogue of 17,129 stars checked out by Dr Turnbull of the Carnegie Institution in Washington.
She announced her findings to the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in St Louis.
She said: “Stars are not all the same, and not all of them are like the sun.
“These are places I’d want to live if God were to put our planet around another star.”
Dr Turnbull’s top candidate for radio signals is Beta CVn, a sun-like star 26 light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs.
Best choice for planets was a star only one-tenth as bright as the sun, 12 light-years away in the constellation Indus, the Indian.
© Paul Sutherland. Unauthorised reproduction forbidden.