#Space #Alien – Have we detected an alien megastructure in space? Keep an open mind : For more than 50 years, we’ve been scanning the skies with king-size antennas, hoping to pick up a radio signal from space that would prove the existence of other technically adept beings.
So far, our efforts have found only senseless static – it’s been a long fishing expedition without so much as a nibble.
However, today there are people who believe that someone is tugging on the line.
They suggest that the peculiar behavior of a nondescript star 8,000 trillion miles away could be tipping us off to a massive alien construction project. That’s an exciting prospect, and not entirely fanciful.
After all, tens of billions of biology-friendly planets speckle our galaxy. Surely at least some of those worlds house intelligent beings. If not, then Earth is a miracle, an explanation of last resort for science.
The star in question bears the unsentimental name, KIC 8462852, although is more colloquially know as Tabby’s star in a nod to the Yale University astronomer, Tabetha Boyajian, who led the team that discovered its strange behavior.
Tabby’s star was observed by Nasa’s Kepler space telescope, and- thanks largely to the work of astronomy enthusiasts – was found to be a very erratic light source. Over the course of days, this star can dim by more than 20%, something that ordinary stars never do.
Then it will brighten, followed by a relapse of darkening weeks or months later. The amount of dimming is variable, and doesn’t occur with the regular cadence that would mark the presence of an orbiting planet.