Could Extraterrestrials Be Signaling Us From KIC 8462852? Astronomers Find Out.

Posted: Nov 6 2015, 1:30pm CST | by , Updated: Nov 8 2015, 12:01am CST, in News | Latest Science News


Allen Telescope Array
Photo credit: Seth Shostak, SETI Institute

A number of data generated by the Kepler space telescope suggest that a civilization in space might be signaling to us down here on Earth, given the fact that the star KIC 8462852 continues to dim and light up, a sign that something or someone might be trying to attract attention from deep space.

Also known as Tabby’s Star, the star dims 20% of its luminosity, and astronomers theorize that a civilized intelligence capable of technology might have constructed megastructures in orbit, which might be responsible for the periodic dimming activity.

Astronomers think the space civilization might have constructed a Dyson collection of solar panels used to collect energy; and yet other scientists think there could still be structures of artificial space habitats or planet-sized object which beams signals to the inhabitants of other galactic planets.

The SETI Institute deployed the Allen Telescope Array which has 42 antennas, each antennae averaging 6 meters in size, and located about 500 kilometers north of San Francisco in the Cascade Mountains – to study this mysterious dimming star.

The narrow-band radio signal was exploited in order to better detect space civilizations trying to beam some signals to us; and a broadband radio signal was also activated to better study star KIC 8462852.

Astronomers conjecture that there might be broadband radio leakage in the event that a spacecraft that is powered by powerful microwave beams is exploring this star, and the leaking signal might be caught by our own technology.  

“This is the first time we’ve used the Allen Telescope Array to look for relatively wide-band signals, a type of emission that is generally not considered in SETI searches,” said SETI Institute scientist Gerry Harp.

However, no clear indication has been seen to suggest that some extraterrestrial is trying to pass some message in all the radio frequencies deployed for the task; and since an omnidirectional transmitter would detect if some space intelligence could build a Dyson swarm to collect energy, it is not yet clear that something is out there; nor can one tell if nothing is out there too.

“The history of astronomy tells us that every time we thought we had found a phenomenon due to the activities of extraterrestrials, we were wrong,” noted Institute astronomer Seth Shostak.  “But although it’s quite likely that this star’s strange behavior is due to nature, not aliens, it’s only prudent to check such things out.”

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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