Is there life outside of our planet? Are we the centre of the universe? Or are we a miraculous series of events that could not happen more than once? Strange questions I know, and one that many probably think is best left for the conspiracy theorists and foil hat sellers.
But over the last few days we have actually had mainstream media outlets such as The Independent and The Atlantic and highly credible scientists confirming that there may well be a “swarm of megastructures” like something you would “expect an alien civilization to build”
In the Northern hemisphere, right above the Milky Way, there are two constellations called- Cygnus the swan and Lyra. Sitting between these 2 constellations is an unusual star called KIC 8462852 which is only visible with the Kepler Space Telescope and is causing a massive stir in astrological circles.
Kepler searches for tiny dips in the light emitted by over 150,000 stars and several astronomers have flagged this particular star as “interesting” and “bizarre.” saying that this star was producing strange light patterns which were different to others Kepler was watching.
In a Yale university podcast astronomer Tabetha Boyajian has said “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.”
This kind of pattern is one that would be expected of younger stars. But this star isn’t young. If it were, it would be surrounded by debris that would give off extra infrared light and there doesn’t seem to be any excess infrared light around this star.
Boyajian, recently published a paper looking at all the different possible explanations for KIC 8462852 and found only one highly improbable natural one – in which another star would have had to have pulled a string of comets towards KIC 8462852.
Jason Wright an astronomer from Penn State University and Andrew Siemion, the Director of SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) are now set to publish a report on the star system, with the possibility that this system was created by intelligent life.
Tabetha Boyajian, Jason Wright and Andrew Siemion are now working on a proposal as they want to point a huge radio dish at KIC 8462852 and see if it emits radio waves associated with technological activity.
If all goes well, this should take place in January, with the follow-up coming late 2016 or maybe even sooner should it show even more strange activity!
The next few month should reveal a lot, but this could be a huge breakthrough and there could finally be some tangible evidence that points to there being life outside of earth.
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