The unusual behavior of a star located at a distance of 1480 light years from Earth, may indicate the presence of an alien civilization. This hypothesis, astronomers have suggested on the basis of observations from space observatory Kepler.
They now plan to study the strange behavior of the star using the directional signal of a powerful telescope. Preliminary results of the study presented in the journal arXiv preprint and short of it according to The Atlantic.
Kepler observatory is designed to search for explanted planets outside our solar system transit method – by the fall of the luminosity of the stars during the passage of a planet in front of its disc. Generally, because of this light fading for several hours or days, and at regular intervals.
However, invisible to the naked eye star KIC 8462852 proved to be an exception: its luminosity fell by 80 percent, and has remained at this low level, different time intervals from five to 80 days.
The astronomers, professional and amateur, who took part in the processing of data from the Kepler (it is they who in 2011 first drew attention to the anomalous behavior of the stars), conducted a thorough analysis of the information and excluded the possibility of signal distortion or problems with the telescope.
A feature light indicates that the star turns a set of closely adjacent to each other objects. This phenomenon often occurs in young star surrounded by a disk of cosmic dust and debris of large (over time gravity make it a substance collected in the world or it is sucked into the star). However KIC 8462852 is not a young star.
Scientists have rejected several hypotheses (the asteroid belt, a clash of planets like the one that created the Moon), and now the only realistic scenario is the passage of the other stars in the vicinity of KIC 8462852, resulting in its orbit turned out to be a cloud of comets. The collapse of these celestial bodies as they rotate in the orbit of a star can explain the irregular flickering. However, such an event was to occur only a few thousand years ago (miserable life on space standards), which makes it extremely unlikely.
Tabetha Boyajian lead author of the study, considering another scenario. Blink KIC 8462852 may indicate a Dyson sphere – a set of giant objects (such as light collectors), which has built an advanced extraterrestrial civilization for energy storage of its star.
Aliens must always be the latest hypothesis, which should be considered, but it looks like what you would expect from an extraterrestrial civilization, – said astronomer Jason Wright (Jason Wright) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Boyajian, Wright and director of SETI research center Andrew Siemion is now applying for KIC 8462852 sighting study using a radio telescope that will allow to understand whether the come from the star radio waves at frequencies characteristic of technological activity.
If the first observation zasekut significant radiation in this range, the star will track already using Very Large Array – one of the largest telescopes in the world. Work should begin in January 2016.