Recently, an unusual activity was observed with a Kepler telescope on a star that is 1,500 light-years from Earth. With the new force in the scientific environment, the question of the existence of life on other planets began to be raised. Speculations on this topic have been going on for a long time. One version is put forward more fantastic than the other.
Perhaps the appearance of an unusual signal with KIC 8462852 has a more plausible explanation. The blackouts that appear on this planet are most likely to be natural and occur when other exoplanets are in the field of view of the telescope on the same line with the planet under study. The Planet Hunters community has thoroughly analyzed all the information on possible mechanisms for the appearance of blackouts. Perhaps there is more than one mechanism, they made their conclusion.
The most likely causes of natural changes in star brightness were presented by Monthly Notices magazine, which is owned by the Royal Astronomical Society and is available for reprint from September 11. Astronomers have suggested that the changes could be triggered by space debris, the possible collision of planets, the presence of circumstellar rings, star spots and a cluster of comets. Most of the assumptions did not satisfy the scientists, except the last one related to comets. Perhaps they are the cause of a strange signal.
It is also suggested that the neighboring planet, located near the orbit of KIC 8462852, could bring about the appearance of gravitational vortices when approaching. They in turn sent a swarm of comets to the nearest planet, which led to a loss of brightness of the star by 22 percent, which Kepler could detect. This explanation seems reasonable enough. After all, scientists have previously found blackouts, the appearance of which is associated with the appearance in a single place of a large number of comets, an example is a large F-type star - it is 50 times larger than our Sun. Then, for the first time, astronomers determined that the accumulation of cosmic bodies can significantly reduce the brightness of light emanating from the planet.
However, to observe such a phenomenon, you need incredible luck. NASA's space telescope, in whose field of view only 150,000 stars fit at a time, would take a huge amount of time to detect a cluster of comets. We assume that the scientists were lucky, because the Kepler telescope was able to detect it in four years, by astronomical standards it is very fast.
Yes, if it is not caused by comets, it is still a great luck to see something new and unusual in space.
This is a great discovery that is of tremendous value to all of humanity. The international scientific community of astronomers confirm this.
On Tuesday, October 13, an article appeared in Atlantic, in which the authors try to look at this discovery outside the box. They put forward hypotheses in no way connected with comets. Everyone has the right to their point of view until proven otherwise. Most importantly, astronomers now have a new impetus.
Tabitha Boyedzhen, a member of the commission for the evaluation of doctoral theses at Yale University, is the author of a scientific article published in Atlantic in the section on scientific discoveries in Ross Andersen, where he proposes to consider other scenarios of what is happening. After exchanging data with astronomer from Pennsylvania State University Jason Wright, their new joint publication is being prepared, in which one such scenario will be described: distinguishing from everything seen before, the signal from the planet KIC 8462852 may be caused by some sort of artificial object of enormous size. Excerpt from the article: "Reducing the reflection of light from an unusual star can be explained by the fact that there may be a technology that can absorb energy from celestial bodies."
As noted in a Discovery News report on Wednesday October 14, this may be the first evidence that advanced alien technologies exist. This suggests that there is a remote possibility of the existence of a highly developed civilization. Why not believe in such a hypothesis? If others are not confirmed, then this is useful.
And what's next? Unfortunately, during the entire Kepler telescope research mission in four years, we have only two important events to study. The first breakthrough was in 2011, and more significant, although in fact it was a variation on the same topic in 2013. This is all the data on the strange light signal that we have.
Currently, scientists are hoping to listen to a star, that is, to study the radio waves emanating from this star system. The chances are actually minimal, but this does not necessarily mean that an alien civilization does not exist. Perhaps it was destroyed for one reason or another.
The age of our galaxy, consisting of hundreds of billions of stars and planets, is approximately 13 billion years. People just now begin to open up some astronomical secrets. The likelihood of meeting with aliens, building their solar panels in space, is negligible. Thus it will be almost impossible to catch the radio signal. If it is an artificially created megastructure, perhaps it is the last artifact of a lost civilization. The existence of alien artifacts is not a new idea. There are several organizations that now specialize in finding evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial artifacts in our galaxy. These are Search for Extraterrestrial (SETA) and Search for Extraterrestrial Technology (SETT), which are variations of the same organization - Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). So, they recently submitted their conclusion. In it, they argue that in our galaxy there is no such civilization, which would have the technology to extract energy from the stars.
By the way, recently in his interview the British theoretical physicist confirmed his views on the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life. The scientist warned against transmitting radio signals into space, because he believes that they can be accepted by more powerful creatures that could pose a threat to earthlings. For those who support him in this and are afraid that the aggressive race can send their warships from KIC 84628520 to Earth, you need to remember that the light from the star was created 1500 years ago - this is a very long distance to travel. If it was so long ago, then the alien race would not detect any signals from our planet at the same interplanetary distances as it is now, because then there was no one on Earth who could send such a signal and, of course, the necessary equipment was not invented for this.
Of course, our Earth is a very attractive object for aliens who are looking for a new planet to live. The resources of our planet are not yet limited, we have huge reserves of water that support the vitality of the plant and animal worlds. Perhaps some traveling race will want to occupy our home? For our hypothetical conquerors, this will not be so difficult to do - there is clearly no good defense system on Earth. But still, even advanced civilizations are limited in their actions by the laws of physics and the speed of light. And if an engine is not installed in the spacecraft, with the help of which it will be possible to overcome the speed of light and make interdimensional hyper-jumps, then the journey may take hundreds of thousands and even millions of years. With the help of a telescope, it was found that our galaxy consists of many worlds. In some of them, there must be planets with large reserves of water and with the possibility of life on them. It is easier for aliens to find such a world in the closest distance from them than to search somewhere far away.
All these are pure hypotheses, since we have no idea about any other form of life resembling people, not to mention intelligent civilizations, capable of creating solar collectors around F-type stars in our corner of the galaxy. But the deeper we look into space, the deeper our knowledge about it becomes.
Although this new study in KIC 8462852 most likely has an elegant natural explanation, it is likely that everything will come down to the fact that the accumulation of planets in a given part of space has led to all this speculation about the possibility of finding alien life. But this is not so bad. This leads to the fact that our scientists are trying to push their horizons in the knowledge of space.
Inevitably somewhere, there is life in our planet, and we need to figure out how to find it, where is it? A technology is currently being developed that, with the help of telescopes or other search engines, it will be possible to investigate the orbits of other stars and test many hypotheses in practice. We live in a privileged time when our civilization can test its theories about the existence of extraterrestrial life. We have never dreamed of such a thing before.
So we will closely monitor the discoveries of our astronomers, who are studying strange reflections from a star that fell into the telescope's survey. If it is something artificial, then it will also be surprising to find out about it.