Is it possible that Alien Megastructures exist after all? After months of observations and studies, the only thing we know about Star KIC 8462852 is that it has gotten even stranger.
The whole fuss created last October when astronomers noticed strange flickering at a distant star might not be a natural phenomenon after all. Much has been said in the last couple of months about The Star (Nicknamed „Tebby’s Star“, after its discoverer, Tabetha Boyajian) and the mysterious dimming around it. So far, no one has been able to understand or explain what’s causing the star to ‘lose’ around 20% of its light.
Despite the fact that a Jupiter-sized planet can cause darkening of the star, it only corresponds to 1%, while the amount observed at KIC 8462852 corresponds to 22%, meaning that something HUGE was causing the light coming from the star to be clocked out of sight.
The Star made headlines around the world when Jason Wright, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University, suggested that it could be surrounded by some type of alien megastructure. Quickly dismissed, Wrights theory was rejected when astronomers proposed that a more logical –yet less exciting—reason behind the stars dimming could, in fact, be a swarm of comets.
However, after tedious studies and calculations, scientists aren’t sure what to think as its nearly impossible for comets to cause the strange dimming around Tabby’s star.
Bradly Shaefer, an astronomer at the Louisiana State University has studied the history of the star looking at old photographic plates, hoping that these could shed more ‘light’ onto the mysterious dimming around the star. To his surprise, and that of people around the world, not only does the stars random dimming date back more than a century, it has been gradually dimming over that period, another mystery that makes it even harder to explain. Schaefer calculated that it would require 648,000 comets, each 200 kilometers wide, to have passed by the star – something that according to many is completely implausible.
But if the strange dimming isn’t caused by natural phenomenon such as a swarm of comets, then what is causing it?
According to many people, these indications suggest that it’s very likely that we have observed Alien technology that goes far beyond our explanation.
Unlike many other astronomers, Boyajian does not reject the idea of Alien megastructures causing the dimming of the star. Boyajian thinks the theory suggesting alien megastructures deserves a follow-up.
According to Phil Plait, slate blogger and astronomer the dimming registered is actually something that you would expect to see if aliens were building a „Dyson Sphere“, or something similar to it. Plait calculated how big the megastructure would actually be: „Aliens would need to build a minimum of 750 billion square kilometers (290 billion square miles) of solar panels to account for the 20 percent drop in their star’s brightness. “That’s 1,500 times the area of the entire Earth.“
Who knows maybe after all… its ALIENS
Even though SETI turned their telescopes towards the star, they have come up empty-handed in their search. This, however, doesn’t mean aliens aren’t there, it might just be that we don’t have the technology to see or hear them in outer space.
Considering the „Comet theory“, Massimo Marengo, an associate professor of astronomy at Iowa State University who co-authored a study suggesting the likely cause of the Star’s dimming was caused by comets told Space.com “It would be more mass than what we have in the whole Kuiper Belt” [the band of icy bodies in the vast region beyond Neptune].“
“You can get out of that if you assume it’s the same family of comets passing in front of the star over and over, but with the century-long dimming trend, too, that family of comets has to get bigger every time it passes the star. “It’s a difficult thing to do,” added Marengo.
Alien megastructure or not, KIC 8462852 has certainly given us a lot to talk about in recent months. While we don’t have to be looking at alien megastructures, if we do, we probably wouldn’t even recognize them, so until we can confirm or deny one theory, all options are available for debate and must be accepted equally.