Star KIC 846285 Is So Bizarre That Aliens Are An Explanation

Posted: Oct 14 2015, 4:08am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 14 2015, 8:46pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Star KIC 846285 is So Bizarre that Aliens are an Explanation

The Kepler telescope has spotted a star with a very unusual behavior that has scientists scrambling for an explanation. Aliens is one of them.

With the attention to the search for alien life in Mars, there is another space discovery that drives scientists towards believing that aliens could be responsible.

For over four years, NASA’s Kepler telescope mission measured the brightness of objects within a 100 square-degree patch of sky in the direction of the constellations Cygnus and Lyrae. Kepler’s mission is to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars.

The Planet Hunter project that has citizen scientists scan Kepler's data for unusual sightings has identified a star named KIC 8462852. The object has irregularly shaped, aperiodic dips in flux down to below 20%. The dipping activity can last for between 5 to 80 days. There is no other star with this behavior known so far.

The cause in the dramatic loss of brightness of the star is believed to be caused by large objects that circulate the star.  As KIC 8462852 is considered to be mature, there should be no debris around the star. A research paper by Tabetha Boyajian et. al has analyzed the data and describes several scenarios to explain the phenomenon. No option is, though, conclusive.

SETI researcher Jason Wright has another explanation. There could be a swarm of megastructures built by aliens to harvest light energy from the star. “When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” Wright told me. “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build, ” said Wright in an interview with The Atlantic.

Since there is no other explanation that can be proven, it is as good as any.

There is now a new research effort underway using the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico. Results are expected to be available in fall of 2016. For space fans this means another year of waiting to possibly find alien life.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
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