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Researchers discovered alien megastructure?

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Xanthurion2

*crosses fingers* Please let it be aliens please let it be aliens please let it be aliens...

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Jacques Terreur

http://scienceblogs.de/astrodicticum-simplex/2015/10/15/der-geheimnisvollste-stern-kic-8462852-und-die-angebliche-alien-superzivilisation/

here's an article (in german, unfortunately) that hypothesizes the fluctuations are likely to be the result of a comet(or several comets) that were "caught" by the star and got crushed, leaving a dust cloud around it. The Star, called KIC 8462852, is also supposed to be part of a twin system, so its "neighbour" also plays a role in all this.

Tabetha Boyajian, one of the discoverers of the star: “By considering the observational constraints on dust clumps orbiting a normal main-sequence star, we conclude that the scenario most consistent with the data in hand is the passage of a family of exocomet fragments, all of which are associated with a single previous breakup event.”

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Harte

Where are the billionaires who usually dump hundreds of millions of dollars to fund research when news like this come out? I hope some billionaires will help donate money to accelerate the study into this strange phenomenon.

Just throw money at it, eh?

Why do you assume the problem is not enough money when the article clearly states that scheduling time telescopes is the only holdup?

From an article linked on the first page of this thread:

Boyajian is now working with Wright and Andrew Siemion, the Director of the SETI Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. The three of them are writing up a proposal. They want to point a massive radio dish at the unusual star, to see if it emits radio waves at frequencies associated with technological activity.

If they see a sizable amount of radio waves, they’ll follow up with the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, which may be able to say whether the radio waves were emitted by a technological source, like those that waft out into the universe from Earth’s network of radio stations.

Assuming all goes well, the first observation would take place in January, with the follow-up coming next fall. If things go really well, the follow-up could happen sooner. “If we saw something exciting, we could ask the director for special allotted time on the VLA,” Wright told me. “And in that case, we’d be asking to go on right away.”

Harte

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Troublehalf

Well, at least they didn't go "might be aliens, probably isn't. Well, that's it folks! Onto the next star!" but have gone "Well, we COULD confirm, or at least improve the chances, that it is an alien structure, but listening for the tell-tale hum of machinery using already built, working and established technology on Earth"

A lot of the time people would go "Well it could be, but we don't have the tech to check it. So we won't." Well, we DO have a way of checking. I see no harm in checking. If they are aliens, it's unlikely they'll notice us doing it and if they do, they're unlikely to go "hey, somebody is pointing some of that ancient radio tech at us... Savages! Get the armada prepped! We Warp Tonight!"

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Albion Boethius

Could it be a planet was destroyed?

Or could it be a planet that did not form?

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Aftermath

Could it be a planet was destroyed?

Or could it be a planet that did not form?

Read this, http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.03622v1.pdf, it's a link to the paper itself and an explanation can be found on page 11.

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JesseCuster
If they are aliens, it's unlikely they'll notice us doing it and if they do, they're unlikely to go "hey, somebody is pointing some of that ancient radio tech at us... Savages! Get the armada prepped! We Warp Tonight!"

It's not just unlikely that they're notice us studying their star or Dyson sphere or whatever. It's pretty much impossible. All we're doing is looking at the light and radiation and its properties as it reaches us here at earth. They have no way of telling if the light that left their star 1480 years ago is being looked at by some distant alien civilisation (i.e. us) than if its just passing through our solar system unnoticed.
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DONTEATUS

Just make a mini-series about it Man ! :alien::tu:

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DONTEATUS

Oh and Welcome "Albion Boethius" Enjoy the Threads ! :tu:

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Paranomali

I wonder what it could be. I will definitely be following this! Can you imagine if this is it! You can't help but get excited when they make discoveries like this, it feels like we are getting so much closer to finding some proof of life elsewhere.

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MyOtherAccount

Can we discuss the claim from the article:

 But that would be an extraordinary coincidence, if that happened so recently, only a few millennia before humans developed the tech to loft a telescope into space. That’s a narrow band of time, cosmically speaking.

If a million years from now a civilization like ours determined to pursue the same endeavor, would they not have the same chances of finding such a discovery? If so, can't we say, "At any time in the history of the Universe, there is the same opportunity of making such a discovery--whether or not it is natural--as any other time in the universe? Is this in any statistical way different from looking for, let's say,... a spiral galaxy?"

Perhaps a better way of saying what I am trying to say is by asking, "Is it true that the universe is so expansive that at any one time a person can find at least one of everything--natural or not--that the universe has shown us?"

Do we say such things as are in the quote because we enjoy thinking of ourselves as unique? Or as a result of not thinking it entirely through?

On a different, curious note: It will be fascinating to watch to see if people who can't bring themselves to be theists can, however, bring themselves to be "alien-ists"?

If so why would that be? [[Please be kind in your answers!]]

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psyche101

There is the problem of 1480 lightyears to consider. If we contacted them there wouldn't be a reply for almost 3000 years !

Studying it from a distance is currently the only option we have.

This is pretty much like the UFO debates. If we don't know what it is, why jump to the conclusion that it is aliens ?

I hope that further study will shed some light on the matter, but until then I won't jump on the aliens bandwagon just yet. But I will be perfectly happy to do so if further study supports this idea.

It may well not be, but good minds appear to be considering that possibility to explain the anomaly of how the light is being filtered.

I have to admit, this old skeptic is rather intrigued with this one, it is either a new Astronomical discovery perhaps as mind blowing as Pulsars, and there is a chance this could be "the one" we have all been waiting for.

The link Frank left earlier in the thread is an excellent read, and links to the paper. From the first link:

The light pattern suggests there is a big mess of matter circling the star, in tight formation. That would be expected if the star were young. When our solar system first formed, four and a half billion years ago, a messy disk of dust and debris surrounded the sun, before gravity organized it into planets, and rings of rock and ice.

But this unusual star isn’t young. If it were young, it would be surrounded by dust that would give off extra infrared light. There doesn’t seem to be an excess of infrared light around this star.

It appears to be mature.

And yet, there is this mess of objects circling it. A mess big enough to block a substantial number of photons that would have otherwise beamed into the tube of the Kepler Space Telescope. If blind nature deposited this mess around the star, it must have done so recently. Otherwise, it would be gone by now. Gravity would have consolidated it, or it would have been sucked into the star and swallowed, after a brief fiery splash.

The paper finds each explanation wanting, save for one. If another star had passed through the unusual star’s system, it could have yanked a sea of comets inward. Provided there were enough of them, the comets could have made the dimming pattern.

But that would be an extraordinary coincidence, if that happened so recently, only a few millennia before humans developed the tech to loft a telescope into space. That’s a narrow band of time, cosmically speaking.

And yet, the explanation has to be rare or coincidental. After all, this light pattern doesn’t show up anywhere else, across 150,000 stars. We know that something strange is going on out there.

I am very much looking forward to what the Radio Telescopes tell us about it.

I wondered myself if it could be a great deal of space debris and or space stations that is filtering the light.

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Frank Merton

Some unknown natural process is and will remain the default, or maybe one of the things already ruled out will get reconsidered. I wouldn't hold my breath, but regardless it is interesting.

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wallarookiller

It would be amazing if true, but they are pretty sure it's comets and space dust. Still the idea is something I never thought I would see.

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Lucas Cooper Merrin

Could it be surrounded by a dense astroid belt?

Edited by Lucas Cooper Merrin

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Ashyne

Since it is so far away and light takes so long to reach us from that distance, those objects might not even be there anymore, in our current time.

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qxcontinuum

why it can't be a pulsing star ?

RR Lyrae variables[edit]

Main article: RR Lyrae variable

These stars are somewhat similar to Cepheids, but are not as luminous and with shorter periods. They are older than type I Cepheids, belonging to Population II, but of lower mass than type II Cepheids. Due to their common occurrence in globular clusters, they are occasionally referred to as cluster Cepheids. They also have a well established period-luminosity relationship, and so are also useful distance indicators. These A-type stars vary by about 0.2–2 magnitudes (20% to over 500% change in luminosity) over a period of several hours to a day or more.

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toast

why it can't be a pulsing star ?

The answer to yr question is still given in the quote you provided:

Main article: RR Lyrae variable

These A-type stars vary by about 0.2–2 magnitudes (20% to over 500% change in luminosity)

over a period of several hours to a day or more.

The peaks of KIC8462852 vary in frequency and intensity, so the peaks of KIC8462852 do not match the

peak matrix that is typical for RR Lyrae variable.

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xxxdemonxxx

Not alien, but still pretty darn awesome i'd say.

The first major dip obscured the star's brightness by up to 15%, and the other by up to 22%. In comparison, a planet the size of Jupiter would only obscure a star of this size by 1%, indicating that whatever is blocking light during the star's major dips is not a planet, but rather something covering up to half the width of the star.[5] Due to the failure of two of Kepler‍‍ '​‍s reaction wheels, the star's predicted 750-day dip around April 2015 was not recorded.[1][4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KIC_8462852

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Harte

Can we discuss the claim from the article:

 But that would be an extraordinary coincidence, if that happened so recently, only a few millennia before humans developed the tech to loft a telescope into space. That’s a narrow band of time, cosmically speaking.

If a million years from now a civilization like ours determined to pursue the same endeavor, would they not have the same chances of finding such a discovery? If so, can't we say, "At any time in the history of the Universe, there is the same opportunity of making such a discovery--whether or not it is natural--as any other time in the universe? Is this in any statistical way different from looking for, let's say,... a spiral galaxy?"

Perhaps a better way of saying what I am trying to say is by asking, "Is it true that the universe is so expansive that at any one time a person can find at least one of everything--natural or not--that the universe has shown us?"

Do we say such things as are in the quote because we enjoy thinking of ourselves as unique? Or as a result of not thinking it entirely through?

On a different, curious note: It will be fascinating to watch to see if people who can't bring themselves to be theists can, however, bring themselves to be "alien-ists"?

If so why would that be? [[Please be kind in your answers!]]

Some unknown natural process is and will remain the default, or maybe one of the things already ruled out will get reconsidered. I wouldn't hold my breath, but regardless it is interesting.

Possibly some event like the Giant Impact hypothesis that purports to explain the formation of our moon.

The star's too old for the sort of impact proposed for Earth to have been the cause. Maybe a rogue planet though...

Harte

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Shouldthisexist

Not alien, but still pretty darn awesome i'd say.

I'm confused from your quote,are you stating that it can't be alien on the premise of nothing they build can be bigger than Jupiter?

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Harte

Strictly speaking, whatever it is, it is certainly alien.

Not Alien, probably, but alien in that it doesn't come from here.

Harte

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qxcontinuum

The answer to yr question is still given in the quote you provided:

The peaks of KIC8462852 vary in frequency and intensity, so the peaks of KIC8462852 do not match the

peak matrix that is typical for RR Lyrae variable.

i thought KIC8462852 exhibits this behavior . Well observers said its intensity drops to below 20% but this is debatable. There is a loss of intensity that we may not see entirely due to space interferences and such vast distance.

Edited by qxcontinuum

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DONTEATUS

Im gonna have to stick with ,"Its so far away that Unless It effects my B.B.Q cooking time Its not too important ! "

And furthermore Its really,Really Far out ! Bring on the Photos please. E.T`s Love our food .

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BeastieRunner

It's probably going to end up being nothing too exotic.

Sadly.

Although ... Pluto has been blowing us away recently so maybe this one will, too!

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