Reports are saying scientists have come up with a strange explanation for the irregularly fluctuating light coming from a distant star – it could be an alien power source.
According the Washington Post, one of the stranger theories to come from the unexplained light flickers from the distant star, which is located 1,142 light years away from Earth, is that an alien species could have built a massive array of solar panels.
Tabetha Boyajian, a researcher at Yale, 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.”
According to the reports, the Kepler Space Telescope observed the star KIC 8462852 over a period of four years, between 2009 and 2013. Kepler is on the lookout for new planets, and watches stars to see if their light ‘dims’ as an orbiting planet passes between the star and Earth.
Most of the time, orbiting planets dim the light of their star for between a few hours to a few days, depending on their orbit and size. However, researchers notices that the light of star KIC 8462852 appeared to have two tiny dims in 2009, followed by a large dimming lasting almost a week in 2011, and then a series of multiple, significant dims in the star’s light in 2013.
The SETI Institute thinks this could be a significant discovery, as the irregular light fluctuations could possibly point to the presence of a massive amount of alien-made technology surrounding the star to soak up it’s sunlight. The concept was first imagined (at least, by humans) by Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson, who proposed the concept in a 1960 Science paper, “Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation”
The idea, named a Dyson Sphere (or a Dyson Swarm), was to build a massive structure of solar panels in space that surround the Sun, and use them to capture solar power to provide the energy needs for humanity without having to scrape oil or coal from the Earth. If this is an alien structure, that means it was built around the same time King Arthur was (reportedly) alive.
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