Our Galaxy’s Strangest Star Could Have Alien Craft in Orbit
Ashley Allen / 5 years ago
There is a star, positioned between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra, which has astronomers in a tizz. When viewed through the Kepler Space Telescope, this particular star exhibits strange properties; the telescope observed huge dips in light levels from the star, notable because they could not be explained by any naturally occurring phenomena.
“We’d never seen anything like this star,” says Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoc at Yale. “It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.”
It seems that the star is being orbited by a number of objects large enough to block out considerable levels of light from the star. The objects are too small and too close to the star to be planets, yet they have not been consumed by its gravity; they remain in orbit.
Boyajian, who heads up the Planet Hunters organisation, published a paper regarding the strange star. While it poses numerous possible explanations, the only one deemed plausible by Boyajian – that another star passed through this star system, pulling with it a collection of comets, and deposited them into the orbit of the unusual star – relies on a huge coincidence. Another contributor to the paper suggests that the objects are consistent with “swarm of megastructures,” and posits that they could be huge solar panels built by an alien civilisation.
“When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University. “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”
Boyajian and his team will continue to observe the star, hoping that the answer to its mysteries will become apparent. At present, though, many of the astronomers involved believe aliens could the most plausible cause.
Thank you The Atlantic for providing us with this information.