Astronomers have spotted something really freaky surrounding a distant star thanks to NASA’s Kepler Space telescope.
The Kepler Space Telescope began to search the cosmos for potentially habitable worlds in 2009, hoping to pinpoint planets where life as we know it might exist. Now, during a routing observation, the space telescope spotted something very, very strange in the cosmos. Located between the Constellations of Lyra and Cygnus there is a really freaky star and what’s going on near it has baffled scientists.
Among the thousands of stars that Kepler observed between 2009 and 2013, one located between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra has attracted the attention of astronomers. The light emitted by the star is shown to have some irregularities which has led experts to conclude that there are ‘alien’ objects orbiting the star. Some explanations may be the passage of planets or the formation of a solar system.
Basically Kepler is designed to look for stars and spot irregularities or tiny dips in the brightness emitted by the stars. According to astronomers, these dips, if repeated, could be a tale tell sign that the star has planets orbiting it. What researchers do next after they spot the ‘tiny dips’ is measure the timing and size of the dips. The data is analyzed by computers with specific algorithms designed to look for repeating patterns which indicate that ‘something’ is orbiting a star. The Keplar Space Telescope observed the star in question, KIC 8462852 which is located 1480 light-years away from Earth, for a period of four years. When a planet passes in front of its host star, the star in question usually dims for a period of a few hours up to a couple of days. Bu KIC 8462852 is really mysterious because this star darkens as much as 20 percent at irregular intervals, staying dark for 5 to 80 days.
According to astronomers who noticed these mysterious irregularities this behavior is extremely bizarre.
Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoc 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.”
So what does this mean?
Well, according to experts, this means that the dips follow a pattern which suggests that the star is being orbited by a large, irregularly shaped object. What is even more interesting is the fact that the object which is causing the mysterious dips has to be a recently formed object according to scientists, as it would have been pulled in by the star’s gravity on the contrary.
Of, so what is this thing?
Well a lot of theories are in the wild but researchers from UC Berkeley’s SETI Institute believe it could be a clear sign of Alien technology. Tabetha Boyajian is working with SETI and Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University in order to develop a plan to observe KIC 8462852 with NRAO’s Green Bank Telescope in search for radio waves. If scientists pick up anything interesting, they might go ahead and used the VERY LARGE ARRAY in New Mexico to listen if they can pick up the sound of ‘Alien Technology’.
According to Jason Wright, an astronomer at the Pennsylvania State University, these structures, or better said mega-structures, could be the product of a highly advanced alien civilization.
To confirm that these structures are not natural occurrences, Kepler is expected to take another peek at KIC 8462852 in May 2017 when the ‘anomalous structures’ are expected to transit the star again.
Image credit: Wikimedia commons. Source astro.yale.edu