Things you should know about possible ALIENS on star KIC 8462852
The star in question is KIC 8462852, an old star about 1.5 times larger than our Sun. Using the Kepler space telescope, a team of astronomers found that its light dipped by up to 20% on several occasions due to the orbit of a vast object, going around the star, that would have to be almost half the star’s size. What’s more, these huge dips occurred at random across the 1,600 days the star was observed.
Owing to the age of the star, the object must be relatively new, or it would have been consumed by the star’s gravity. The object cannot be a star, as it is not emitting light nor is it circular. It is also unlikely to be a planet, owing to its irregular orbit. So, what is it?
In the paper, the leading suggestion is that it is debris left from comets breaking up around the star. This would be expected to produce large amounts of infrared radiation, though, owing to the scattering of dust around the star, something that was not observed. This led a leading scientist to suggest the other, more outlandish theory – that an alien civilization could be the cause, or more specifically, a Dyson sphere.
A Dyson sphere is a structure that harnesses a star’s energy for use by a civilization, sort of like solar power but on a massive scale. It would be composed of hundreds or thousands of spacecraft, often referred to as a Dyson swarm that would theoretically be large enough to block out a significant portion of a star’s light. We have considered this a possibility here on Earth, to harness the sun’s energy.
Scientists are in the process now (this week) of using the VLA (Very Large Array) or ATA Allen radio telescopes to see if they can detect any type of radio signals. HOWEVER, we must keep in mind that the star in question is 1,500 light years from Earth. So, we must consider the following scientific facts:
Radio waves travel at the speed of light through space. This is fast (300,000 kilometers per second), but certainly not instantaneous.
Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
This means that any signals we detect from this star system left there 1,500 years ago! Even if we were inclined to send them a message of GREETINGS from earth, and they were able to detect our message and respond immediately, the simple exchange of messages would take 3,000 years!
Three thousand years… that would be just about the time necessary for religious conservatives to emotionally deal with the discovery and decide on how to best convert alien heathens to the right faith. The politicians will still be debating who will best represent the Earth, and Burger King will already be planning a fast food restaurant. Or, for our own sake, we can hope that the Aliens are vegetarians!
Submitted by: Evgenia Ioannou
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