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KIC 8462852 - Have we detected megastructures built by aliens around a distant star?


tingting44
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"Boyajian et al. 2015 recently announced KIC 8462852, an object with a bizarre light curve consistent with a "swarm" of megastructures. We suggest this is an outstanding SETI target."

Certainly never heard a serious scientist use those words before.

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Hi Martin,

Thanks for this useful bit of info. I have been spending the last 15 minutes trying to decipher a message from my daughter on this, she saw it on the BBC.

It is human nature to enquire and be curious........

Starting in January is fine, no rush needed with any reply, we could always send any reply by first class post!!! 

Once again thanks for the heads up.

Adrian

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Only been vaguely aware of the Dyson Sphere idea, but I got interested:

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere

Then I rather wondered just how thick (T) would a hollow sphere the size of

the earths orbit be, if we were to use ALL the earth's material to make it! :p

i.e. 4 π R2 . T = 4/3 π r3     (I reckon?)  :)

(where R is the radius of the earth's orbit and r is the radius of the earth). 

The thickness T = r3 / 3R2

After sweating over a hot calculator, I came up with 4mm! (Do check?!?) :D

But I suppose that is why, to get any sort of coverage of (gift wrap?) a star, 

you are going to need a LOT of (fairly exotic and / or lightweight!) material.

Hence all the talk of Graphene etc. ;)

P.S. I tend to favour some sort of natural explanation tho'? lol. I was checking

out various theories re. variability of Epsilon Auriga etc. But could this not just

be some *random blobs* of obscuring matter drifting across line of sight? Far

enough from the star not to be illuminated? Or maybe that's also unlikely...

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Check out David Brin's "Fractal World" (Think Dyson Sphere full of Christmas trees pointing in but more so) from his second "Uplift" trilogy. Made out of stuff not much stronger than candyfloss.

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i seem to remember reading about a guy called Lowell who got everybody worked up about Martians a few years ago.  Whilst the observational data may have detected something "alien" i.e. unfamiliar, it's a fair bet it'll be a naturally occurring phenomena rather than 'civilization'.

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Starting in January is fine, no rush needed with any reply, we could always send any reply by first class post!!! 

Once again thanks for the heads up.

Adrian

First Class Universal Service has get out clauses.....remote or inaccessible addresses! 

Exceptions

In rare circumstances, Ofcom may grant exceptions to the minimum Universal Service requirements. These include remote or inaccessible addresses, or addresses that present a temporary safety risk for Royal Mail employees (for instance, due to an uncontrolled dangerous dog on the premises). A full list of exceptions to the Universal Service can be found here.

Edited by Polar Bear
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I have just completed my degree (last month). My thesis was on biomarker detection methods of exoplanets. Anyway, one reason exoplanets can be detected as a false possitive (ie, we think they are there when they aren't), is due the sunspots dimming the host stars luminosity.

I wonder if this observation is the result of a mixture of transient features; sunspots, planetary disc, planetary migration etc.

Still, its all good science whatever it is.

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If it were sunspots wouldn't we expect them to recur with a frequency equal to the star's rotation period, which can be measured with interferometry can't it? Happy to be corrected on this.

Yes you are correct but that depends on what measurements were being taken at the time. Im also using the term sunspot rather loosely; simply as cooler regions. Purhaps this could be three"sunspots" or one rapidly changing sunspot with each rotation.

Most hot jupiters have been discovered very close to their parent star; a region where they could not have formed. This means that gas giants must migrate inwards. At some point the gas planet will start to be stripped by the star. Also, such migrations are likely to disrupt asteroid belts etc as they move inwards. (Imagine if jupiter migrated inwards through the asteroid belt and into the path of mercury. There would be a fair amount of disruption in the solar system.

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very interesting read for a sunday morning :)

is the mystery solved....... sounds like the star is consuming the planet.......... and wow i never knew it would take us 37,200! years to travel 1 light year! we have to be able to shave them years down surely :(

http://anonhq.com/the-truth-about-nasas-alien-mega-structure-discovery/

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Yeah, thats the type of event I was thinking of. However, the time scale for this ti occur is pretty small, so the chances of observing the event must be rather rare. I think it may be a system in turmoil after a planetary migration., along the lines of our own heavy bombardment period. Its certainly interesting.

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My understanding was that they had ruled out a exoplanet or planets due to the large volume of the stars light that is being blocked. Any planet close enough to have its atmosphere stripped away simply wouldn't block enough of the stars light due to scale at ranges. Only a large planet or planets a long way from the star could result in that much light being blocked but then not only would the dimming events happen on a set period but also would take a long time to reoccur. Whats being seen is fairly rapid random periods of light being blocked on a massive scale.

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I find all the theories very interesting and worthy of consideration on a cloudy night - especially if they involve alien inteligence - so tx to all contributors. 

All I can add is that most alien theories seem to relate to the aliens being super advanced, very clever and very successful.  Is it not more likely that what we are seeing is some massive alien failure?  A process triggered by them that led to their distruction?  Perhaps they started to grow an energy absorbing cloud with matter sucked from a gas giant that just got out of hand? 

Or maybe my thinking is clouded by the fact I can't really see the human race making it through the next two thousand years without destroying itself and the planet.

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