Modern IR telescopes, such as the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), have the ability to monitor nearby pulsars to detect signals from extraterrestrial megastructures. The study further concludes that for this purpose, these telescopes would have an effective range of up to 200 parsecs (approximately 652 light years).
In the last couple of years, experts have been left baffled by the inexplicable phenomenon in distant places in our universe. Intercepted by some as Massive alien megastructures, distant suns appear to be wrapped by MASSIVE structures that cannot be explained naturally.
In 1960, physicist Freeman Dyson proposed the existence of advanced intelligent civilizations capable of building mega-structures in order to engulf distant stars and use their energy.
Now, in a study at the Free University of Tbilisi, Professor Zaza Osmanov offers a new perspective on why these hypothetical megastructures of extraterrestrial origin – whose clue would be the periodic obscuration of the host star – may be a reality not yet collated by the science.
According to the latest study published in arxiv.org entitled “Are the Dyson rings around pulsars detectable?” Osmanov extends the problem of detecting extraterrestrial megastructures to the observational realm and focuses his attention on the pulsars closest to the Solar System.
Specifically, it refers to how extraterrestrial megastructures can be detected by identifying their signatures of infrared energy, and at what types of distances. By examining how these structures might vary in terms of the amount of IR radiation they would emit, experts believe alien megastructures could be detected within our local Universe using existing instruments.
Of course, it comes to the diameter of the structures in the end, which in turn depends on the type of pulsar it is orbiting. As explained in the document:
“A couple of years earlier before publishing the paper of Kardashev, the prominent physicist Freeman Dyson has suggested that if such superadvanced (in the terminology of Kardashev, LevelII) extraterrestrials exist, for increasing efficiency of energy consumption they can construct a thin spherical shell with radius ∼ 1AU surrounding a host star (Dyson 1960). It has been argued that for such distances the sphere will be in the so-called habitable zone (HZ) and therefore the sphere will have the temperature of the order of (200 − 300)K, making this object visible in the infrared spectrum.”
Luckily, we may have already come across one such structure as professor Osmanov explains “An interest to the search for the infrared Dyson-like sources has been increased after the detection of an enigmatic object, KIC8462852, discovered by the Keppler mission (Boyajian et al. 2016). It has been shown that the flux of the mentioned object has been characterized by aperiodic dips of the order of 20%. On the other hand the authors have confirmed that the irregularities might not have been caused by any instrumental or data processing factors.”
Furthermore, Osmanov states: “To investigate the hypothesis that strange behavior of KIC 8462852 (and some other objects: KIC 12557548, CoRoT-29) is caused by artificial Dyson-like cosmic structures a series of works has been performed (Wright et al. 2016; Schuetz et al. 2016; Harp et al. 2016), but the main question concerning the origin of the unrealistically high level of flux dip still remains open. Whatever this origin is the discovery of KIC 8462852 has revived a search for artificial cosmic megastructures which has been started in the first decade of this century (Carrigan 2009; Jugaku & Nishimura 2002; Timofeev et al. 2000; Slish 1985).”
Extending this to the pulsars, Osmanov estimates that the habitable zone around a relatively slow rotation pulsar (with a period of about half a second) would be on the order of 0.1 AU. According to calculations, an annular mega-structure that orbits a pulsar at this distance would emit temperatures in the order of 390 K (116.85 ° C), which means that the mega-structure would be visible in the IR band, reports Universe Today.
Furthermore, professor Osmanov concludes that modern IR telescopes, such as the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), have the ability to monitor nearby pulsars to detect signals from extraterrestrial megastructures. The study further concludes that for this purpose, these telescopes would have an effective range of up to 200 parsecs (approximately 652 light years).
In addition, professor Osmanov believes that within this volume of space, multiple candidates could be found and examined using these same existing instruments. If we take a look at the neighboring area of our Solar System, it is expected that approximately 64 pulsars are located inside it, states professor Osmanov.
Beyond these distances, up to the range of a kiloparsec— A distance of 1000 parsecs—(about 3,260 light years), the angular resolution of these telescopes would not be sufficient to detect these structures. For such distances, we would require telescopes that could conduct surveys in the UV band – which corresponds to the surface temperatures of neutron stars (7,000 K). However, in order to make such observations, we would have to wait for the development of more sensitive instruments.
In total, between 43 and 85 candidates exist within the observable volume of space, according to Osmanov’s estimates. And with existing IR telescopes—and next-generation telescopes like the James Webb— experts could perform countless surveys that may provide valuable information of what’s really out there.
For now, many experts are convinced that the instruments we do have could help us make mind-bending discoveries.