The space telescope spotted a strange cluster of objects whirling around a distant star. It displays tiny dips in light emitted by the star
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has spotted an alien megastructure something like a star in Northern Hemisphere near the Milky Way.
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The unusual star is named KIC 8462852 and it exhibits tiny dips in light emitting from it. This light pattern has not been spotted anywhere else, across 150,000 stars.
“We’d never seen anything like this star,” said Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University. “It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.”
Kepler spacecraft detected the unusual star four years ago and astronomers reported that the star “undergo irregularly shaped, aperiodic dips in flux down to below the 20% level. The dipping activity can last for between 5 and 80 days.”
The dipping light patterns also suggest a big mess of matter circling the star. Usually, a messy disc of dust and debris indicates that a star, a galaxy or a comet is young and newly formed and gives it infrared light.
But this star does not have excessive infrared light which suggests it to be a mature star. Still, the mess of objects hovering around the star is a remarkable thing.
Researchers are coming forward with many explanations regarding this light pattern. They are considering natural as well as “other” scenarios too.
Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University, has an alternative interpretation of the light pattern. SETI institute has long suggested that we might be able to detect distant extraterrestrial civilizations by looking for enormous technological artifacts orbiting other stars.
Wright and his colleagues suggest that unusual star’s light pattern is similar to a “swarm of megastructures,” perhaps stellar-light collectors, technology designed to catch energy from the star.
“When (Boyajian) showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” Wright told “The Atlantic.” “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”
As a next step, researchers want to place a massive radio dish at the unusual star, to see if it emits radio waves at frequencies associated with technological activity. If they see a sizable amount of radio waves, they may be able them to say whether the radio waves were emitted by a technological source of an “Alien Civilization.”
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