Kepler was instructed by the NASA Space Telescope to find small rocky worlds revolving around distant stars. However, exoplanets are not the only things that Kepler can detect — star flares, star spots and dusty planetary rings can also appear in mission observations.
But there is also an assumption that Kepler can detect more natural phenomena; if they are, Kepler can also detect traces of artificial structures revolving around other stars. Imagine a well developed civilization on the Kardashev scale and having the ability to use energy directly from a star. These hypothetical alien civilizations could build huge superstructures in the likeness of super-huge solar batteries in the orbit of their star, which can be so large that they block a significant part of the stars passing ahead.
When Kepler detects an exoplanet, he does this by measuring very small starlight from a given star. The premise is simple: in exoplanet orbits in front of a star (this method is also known as the “transit method”) Kepler detects a slight darkening of the stars and creates a “glow curve” - basically the graph decreases in the light of the stars over time. Much information can be gathered from a radiance curve, such as the physical size of an exoplanet transit. It can also deduce the outlines of exoplanets.
Usually the form of an exoplanet is not particularly surprising, because it is a planet-shaped form. She is round. Planetary formation physics states that a planetary body above a certain mass will be governed by hydrostatic equilibrium. But they say that Kepler discovers something not round. This may be a little strange. For the most part, any failure in the brightness of a star can be attributed to some natural phenomenon. But what if all options are discarded and only one script is left? What if this script confirms that this object is artificial? In other words, what if it's aliens?
In an article written by Ross Andersen of Atlantic, at first glance, it seems that we can be at this incredible stage.
Spectrographic Analysis KIC 8462852
A star named KIC 8462852 was found with a very curious transit signal. In a document presented in the Monthly Notices journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers, including scientists from the Planet Hunters crowdsourcing program, reported: “During Kepler’s mission, KIC 8462852 had an irregular shape, aperiodic dips in the stream below 20 percent.”
The research paper described the phenomenon, indicating that this star is unique - we have not seen anything like it. Kepler has continuously collected data on this star for four years. This is not an instrumental error. Kepler does not see things; the signal is real.
“We have never seen anything like this star,” said Thabetha Boyadjian, a researcher at Yale University and the main author of the Atlantic. “It was really strange. We thought it might be inaccurate data or movement on a spacecraft, but we checked everything. ”
The volunteers of Planet Hunters intend to search for transits in Kepler stars in the direction of the constellation Cygnus. This is a huge amount of data from more than 150,000 stars in Kepler’s original field of view, and it’s not possible to cover the human eye with a dip in true starlight. Planet Hunters described KIC 8462852 as “weird”, “interesting” and “giant transit”. They were not mistaken. Subsequent research focused on two interesting events in transit KIC 8462852, which were discovered between 788 and 795 days of the Kepler mission and between the days from 1510 to 1570. The researchers marked these events as D800 and D1500, respectively.
The D800 event is associated with an increase in star brightness by 15 percent, while D1500 was an explosion of several transits, possibly indicating the accumulation of various objects that reduced the brightness to 22 percent. To create such dips in brightness, these objects must be huge.
The researchers used all the known methods, but each solution presented a new problem. For example, they investigated the possibility of some kind of circumstellar dust disk. However, after viewing the infrared signal associated with this disc, such a signal was not visible.
In addition, the star is a mature F-type star, about 1.5 times the size of our Sun. Near-star disks, as a rule, are located around young stars.
Researchers also explored the possibility of a huge planetary collision: maybe the garbage after this collision created this strange signal? The chance of seeing a planetary collision is extremely low. There is no evidence from NASA's data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) about the collision that took place in a very small window between the end of the WISE mission and the beginning of Kepler’s mission (several years) that is astronomically unlikely for such a cosmic event.
The only natural explanation put forward by researchers is to focus on the intermediate cluster exocometus. “One of the ways to represent such comets obstacles can be caused by a star passing through the system,” the researchers write.
In fact, they claim that there may be a star nearby that breaks dormant comets in remote regions of the KIC 8462852 star system. This small star is located at about 1000 a. e. from KIC 8462852 and may be a counterpart or an interstellar visitor, its presence may be the cause of some comet shocks. Like other hypotheses, the explanation with exocometes does not reach full satisfaction.
This study focuses only on the natural and known possible causes of the secrets of transit events around KIC 8462852. The second document is currently being developed and explores a completely different transit scenario that focuses around the possibility of a mega-technical project created by an advanced alien civilization.
This may sound like science fiction, but our galaxy has existed for more than 13 billion years, and it is not so difficult to assume that there may be an alien civilization that created a place where they can build super structures around the stars.
“Aliens should always be the latest hypothesis to be supposed, but it looked like it could only be built by an alien civilization,” said Jason Wright, an astronomer at the University of Pennsylvania.
Indeed, tracking huge structures that eclipse light from stars is not a new thing. “Search for extraterrestrial technology” (SETT) is one such project that does just that. Only recently, a local survey of the universe has focused on the hope of finding warm waste generated by a technologically advanced civilization, in particular, according to the Kardashev type II civilization. On the Kardashev scale, a type II civilization has the ability to use all available energy emanating from a star. Using an extensive shell or series of rings surrounding a star, a Dyson sphere can be constructed as a structure. This has the effect of shielding the star from view in the visible range, but as soon as solar energy has been used by an alien civilization, the energy turns into long wavelength and is probably lost in the form of infrared radiation.
The search for warm waste of aliens was not crowned with success, and came to the conclusion that, most likely, there is no nearby type II civilization.
But, as KIC 8462852 shows us, there may be something else - perhaps an alien mind that is well developed to become a type II civilization that created a kind of artificial structure around its star.
Of course, these secrets of transit events are far from “proof” of an alien civilization. In fact, this can hardly be called evidence and much more work needs to be done.
The next step is the direction of the radio antenna in KIC 8462852, just to see the system generating any artificial radio signals that may indicate the presence of something that we define as “mind”. Boyadjian and Wright have already teamed up with Andrei Semyon, director of the SETI research center at the University of California, Berkeley, to receive a radio telescope to listen to the star, and if they find an artificial signal, they will ask for time on the Very Large Array (VLA) to bring any radio signals from this star, which are the chatter of an alien civilization. It can be a long shot, and this phenomenon is more likely a cluster of comets or some other natural phenomenon that we do not take into account for blocking the light of stars from view, but it is worth exploring, especially if there really is a kind of alien intelligence constructing structures, or perhaps ancient structures, long gone civilizations, around a star just 1,500 light years from Earth.