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Second 'alien megastructure' star discovered

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Not A Rockstar

How exciting! I wonder if this is common for early systems still sorting into orbits, or perhaps after a collision and we are just on the right angle to see some of the debris floating by.

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Jon the frog
38 minutes ago, Not A Rockstar said:

How exciting! I wonder if this is common for early systems still sorting into orbits, or perhaps after a collision and we are just on the right angle to see some of the debris floating by.

That's a cool explanation, the cloud of debris forming the protoplanetary disk.

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seanjo
46 minutes ago, Not A Rockstar said:

How exciting! I wonder if this is common for early systems still sorting into orbits, or perhaps after a collision and we are just on the right angle to see some of the debris floating by.

I would say it's a must for newly forming Solar Systems.

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sci-nerd
1 hour ago, Jon the frog said:

That's a cool explanation, the cloud of debris forming the protoplanetary disk.

As far as I can tell from this article (about Tabby's) the dust particles are too small to avoid ejection from the solar system, and the star itself is just a bit younger than our sun, so it does not seem to be a protoplanetary disk. Would have been cool though.

Edited by sci-nerd
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Not A Rockstar

So only during the sun's formation can orbits arise? What if this stuff is from some other explosion and is forming later? What if a blast of "stuff" came into ours? It would sort out one way or another, right? 

Or am I wrong and our own sun won't do this anymore because of its age?

It would still be obscured though, for a while.

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sci-nerd
1 hour ago, Not A Rockstar said:

So only during the sun's formation can orbits arise?

No, but the type/size of matter (large grained dust and rocks) needed to form planets is only in abundance in a solar systems youth. Small dust particles (like they assume are causing the dimming at Tabby's and this new discovered one) get ejected by solar wind.
The mystery is how the dust got there? How did it get into an old solar system? Or rather: What happened, that turned so much matter into dust?

Edited by sci-nerd
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Not A Rockstar

Thanks @sci-nerd I am wondering what is nearby that may have blown stuff there, perhaps a nova or major collision? 

I find this interesting, though I did enjoy the few scientists allowing the speculation it might have been a built thing back early in the Tabby business. Gave me hope for more elasticity there than one might be led to expect. Yet, strangely, I didn't think so, for all I hope for ET. I figured it was floating debris or obstructions causing it.

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Rolci

And only 2 stars in the universe with protoplanetary disks with us in the plane. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

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TripGun

I would go with a dust cloud theory but space dust tends to flatten out in orbit, so more likely it's gravitational lensing from something in between.

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Waspie_Dwarf
1 hour ago, TripGun said:

I would go with a dust cloud theory but space dust tends to flatten out in orbit, so more likely it's gravitational lensing from something in between.

Gravitational lensing requires a massive object. How has such an object managed to go undetected?

Gravitational lensing is not selective, it would distort the image of the star as well as that of the mysterious "structure", how is it not doing that?

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InconceivableThoughts

It would seem more practical to engulf a star in some sort of nano technology that collects the energy then some giant object that would be more prone to impacts from asteroids and other bodies . I would also imagine less maintenance.

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Nnicolette

I dont understand why the idea "alien megastructure" was used. It seems like a pretty huge leap in logic from a star partially dimming to " there may be an alien megastructure blocking it" maybe i just dont follow how that is even logical. Is there some other piece of evidence that led to this?

My random first guess since we already ruled out a dust cloud early on is that the star is having combustion issues. By that i mean what if there are dead spots or crust has solidified for some reason or the stars own internal weather is causing the dim patches. Seems as possible to me as a giant construct which makes no feasible sense.

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StarMountainKid

I like the idea of many small artificial structures gathering energy from the star for some purpose. It would seem more efficient to construct many small energy absorbing and transmitting structures than a few very large constructs. Easier to manufacture and place into orbit around the star.

Just speculation.

 

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bison

Yes, there's still the suspicion that the dimming of Tabby's Star has a artificial cause. It's been checked for radio signals repeatedly by two different SETI projects, and now, as you note, for laser beams. Of course laser beams wouldn't be detected unless they happened to be pointed our way at the time the observations were made, so these scarcely rule out this possibility. 

It's true that whatever has periodically obscured Tabby's Star appears not to be a single large structure. It could be 'smart dust', in this case;  a huge number of minute energy-collecting machines. Yes, it could be natural dust too, of course, but the huge amount of ordinary dust required to dim a star by up to 22 percent is difficult to explain.

Then too, no excess infrared radiation has been detected. Such a large amount of dust might be expected to re-radiate substantial waste heat in this part of the spectrum. If professional astronomers are still interested in testing the extraterrestrial intelligence hypothesis, here,  it seems worth keeping an open mind.    

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