Scientists have discovered a ‘bizarre’ star they say could be fenced by an enormous alien megastructure. KIC 8462852, situated 1,480 light-years away, was observed by the Kepler Space Telescope for nearly more than four years, starting in 2009. Now scientists say they cannot clarify bizarre fluctuations in the light it releases – leading some astronomers to claim it could have a gigantic alien megastructure right in front of it. Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoctoral candidate at Yale, told The Atlantic “We’d never seen anything like this star. It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out. Over the duration of the Kepler mission, KIC 8462852 was observed to undergo irregularly shaped, aperiodic dips in flux down to below the 20% level,” She lately published a research paper in the online journal arxiv charting the possible reasons – and omitting many of them. Boyajian and her research group at the crowdsourced Astronomy site Planet Hunters found.
Boyajian and her research group highlighted the star as bizarre as early as 2011. According to them “The dipping activity can last for between 5 and 80 days,” The team also looked at imaginable details, such as defective data or a latest collision. In their research paper, they describe numerous circumstances to explain the bizzare events in the Kepler light curve, most of which have hitches clarifying the data in hand. Though, some researchers say the actual cause might be something far more thrilling. According to Wright and his co-authors the unusual star’s light configuration is regular with a ‘swarm of megastructures,’ possibly stellar-light collectors, technology designed to get energy from the star.
Wright is currently working with the SETI in Berkeley and Boyajian to develop a proposal to point a big radio telescope (probably the NRAO’s Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia or the Parkes Observatory scope in Australia) at this strange star, and listen for a ‘hum’ of alien technology.
SETI scientists have long recommended that we might be able to perceive distant extraterrestrial civilizations, by looking for huge technological artifacts possibly orbiting other stars.
Wright said “The idea behind our research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonized by an advanced spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilization’s technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths,”