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The Full Story Behind the 'Alien Megastructures' Scientists May Have Found...

MULTIZ321

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The Full Story Behind the 'Alien Megastructures' Scientists May Have Found (But Probably Didn't) - by Eric Mack/ Sci-Tech/ C/Net/ cnet.com

"This is a tricky story to write. The mysterious scientific observations it deals with could wind up being nothing, or they could amount to some new, interesting astrophysical phenomenon that gets its own little section in a planetary science textbook someday. But there's also the tiniest chance that some perplexing light curves from a distant star over 1,400 light-years from Earth could be the beginning of the biggest discovery since not just the birth of modern science, but the birth of well, the human race.

Yes, you guessed it, I'm talking about the possibility that we may have the first scientific evidence of intelligent life beyond our own solar system. The story's been all over social media, TV and everywhere else this week since originally being reported by The Atlantic. You might have heard that astronomers think they've spotted giant solar collectors, Dyson spheres or other megastructures straight out of sci-fi built by an advanced alien civilization around a far-off star unremarkably named KIC 8462852..."

Richard
 

MULTIZ321

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Scientists Have Not Actually Found An Alien Megastructure Orbiting a Distant Star - by Miriam Kramer/ World/ Mashable/ mashable.com

"An alien star in distant space seems to be acting very strangely.

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope caught sight of the star as part of the spacecraft's hunt for planets outside the solar system, which are also known as exoplanets.

Kepler looks for exoplanets by seeing a dip in the light of a star, presumably when a planet passes between its host star and the spacecraft. This eclipse produces a regular, periodic dip in the starlight that can help scientists characterize the planet.

But when Kepler caught sight of this star — called KIC 8462852 — it didn't see anything resembling a regular, periodic dip in starlight. Instead, the probe saw a more erratic dimming and brightening of the star, nothing like what you'd expect to see when a planet eclipses.

“We’d never seen anything like this star,” Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoc researcher at Yale told the Atlantic, one of the first publications to report on the finding. “It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.”

So, what could this weird star be?

Numerous media outlets, including, to some extent, The Atlantic, have latched onto the idea that it could be an “alien megastructure” constructed by an extraterrestrial civilization orbiting that star. Such a structure would be large enough to periodically block light from the star.

But the truth is that scientists aren't yet sure what could be causing the star to flicker from our perspective, and an “alien megastructure” is pretty far down on their list of possible explanations for the light curve..."

Richard
 

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Signs of Alien Life? Mysterious Star Stirs Controversy - by Agence France Press/ AFP ( French Independent News Agency)/ Business Insider/ businessinsider.com

"Washington (AFP) - Mysterious light on a distant star could be a sign of alien civilisation, some astronomers have claimed, stirring controversy among their peers.

Not so fast, said NASA.

"The mysterious star, KIC 8462852, does have an odd light curve," said Steve Howell, a US space agency scientist working on the Kepler space telescope's planet-hunting mission, which launched in 2009 but lost its key orientation abilities in 2013.

"It does not look like a normal exoplanet or binary star light curve. However, I think that saying that it immediately is alien is a bit of a stretch," Howell said in an email to AFP..."


afp-signs-of-alien-life-mysterious-star-stirs-controversy.jpg

© NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech/AFP/File
The Kepler space telescope's planet-hunting mission was launched in 2009 but lost its key orientation abilities in 2013

Richard
 

MULTIZ321

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No Alien Radio Signals Detected in Space Anomaly, SETI Says - by Jareen Imam/ Space/ Science/ CNN News/ cnn.com

"(CNN)A star system that has been a source of speculation about extraterrestrial intelligence has offered only radio silence.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) has been monitoring an unusual light pattern in a star system for more than two weeks.

The system, KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby's Star, has been under scrutiny since its unusual light fluctuation was discovered a few years back by users of the online astronomy crowdsourcing site Planet Hunters.

Situated 1,500 light years away between the Cygnus and Lyra constellations, light from the star system occasionally has dropped by 20%, according to data that was collected by NASA's Kepler Telescope, which is on a mission to find Earth-like planets by looking for the periodic dimming of stars that might suggest a planet is passing by.

SETI Institute started investigating the star after learning that the Kepler team had vetted data showing there is an atypical light pattern coming from the region.

Using the Allen Telescope Array, which comprises a large number of small dishes used to monitor wavelengths, SETI Institute said it has not detected radio signals..."

150723124341-02-earths-bigger-older-cousin-exlarge-169.jpg



Richard
 

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To the OP, theory we are not alone.
 

MULTIZ321

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Did the Kepler Telescope Just Find the First Signs of Alien Life? - by Elizabeth Shockman/ Science Friday/ Science, Tech & Environment/ Public Radio International/ pri.org

A recent paper published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society describes a star more than 1,400 light years away that dims and glows in a strange flickering pattern. A number of theories have been suggested to explain why this might be happening, but one of them has gained outsized public notice.

Could this be an “alien megastructure.” We don't know — but maybe?

Debra Fischer, a professor of astronomy at Yale University, is part of a project engaged in monitoring data received from the Kepler telescope — including this strange, flickering star.

“We watched the brightness of the star over time. And about four years ago, we saw a very big dip in that brightness as something was occulting or blocking part of the light from the star. And then the star was constant for a couple more years when we suddenly saw a series of sharp dips in brightness. We did everything we could to first rule out the fact that it could be an artifact or something wrong with the Kepler space craft and we're convinced that there's absolutely nothing wrong with the data. And so that leaves us trying to explain why this one star is different from the 155,000 other stars that Kepler has looked at,” Fischer says.

She and a team of scientists have come up with a number of ideas as to what might be happening near Star KIC 8462852..."

Kepler_spacecraft_artist_render_%2528crop%2529.jpg

An artists' rendering of the Kepler spacecraft.
Credit: Wendy Stenzel/NASA/JPL-Caltech


Richard
 

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