Astronomers have found a “bizarre star system” which they think was probably built by alien life.
The Atlantic reports that “astronomers have spotted a strange mess of objects whirling around a distant star” which is located between constellations Cygnus and Lyra.
The site mentions that such star is “invisible to the naked eye” but not to the Kepler Space Telescope which has observed it since 2009. The star is dubbed KIC 8462852.
A Postdoc from Yale, Tabetha Boyajian, told the Atlantic, “We’d never seen anything like this star. It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.”
The star is said to be emitting “a big mess of matter” in its light pattern. Its light pattern was different from that of others that Kepler is watching. Thus, citizen scientists have flagged it as “bizarre” and “interesting” in 2011.
If the star was young, it would be expected for it to emit extra infrared light. But, it wasn’t, according to The Atlantic, which makes it very mysterious.
The site mentions that Boyajian had published a paper about the star’s “bizarre light pattern.” Her paper suggests the possible scenario behind the patterns which included instrument defect and a planetary impact.
Aside from natural scenarios, Boyajian is also considering other scenarios that could explain the light patterns from the star.
An astronomer from Penn State University, Jason Wright, has a different take on the star.
Wright said, “When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked. Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”
Wright is said to be working with Boyajian and Andrew Siemion, the Director of the SETI Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
The three are planning to “point a massive radio dish at the unusual star” and see if it shall emit radio waves.
Meanwhile, Gizmodo notes the numerous times that astronomers mistook a phenomena for alien activity. The site goes on by mentioning the discover of canals on Mars, pulsars, “Wow” signal, and perytons.
Gizmodo suggests that KIC 8462852 star may be unexplainable due “to our limited technologies, insufficient science, or lack of imagination.”
The site mentions that failure to keep an open mind and seeking solutions would “be a terrible disservice to the scientific process.”