It has been called the most bizarre star in our galaxy and some think it just might be home to high-tech aliens.
The unlikely suggestion that aliens live in this star system is being taken so seriously that a team of astrophysicists wants to train a radio telescope in its direction to determine if any signals could indicate advanced extraterrestrial life.
According to Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoctoral astrophysicist at Yale University, the most likely natural explanation is that light from the star is being blocked by a massive swarm of comets that has descended close to the solar mass.
Dr Wright at Penn State is about to publish an alternative explanation for the star’s light patterns. He says the patterns of light are also consistent with a “swarm of megastructures” orbiting the star, perhaps formed by enormous solar collectors.
Such energy collectors are dubbed Dyson structures, named after physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson, who suggested in 1960 that advanced civilisations would use such structures to collect massive amounts of solar energy.
A drawing of a Dyson Sphere
What does that mean? It means we’re allowed to get a little bit excited! Not because aliens are a likely possibility, but because we’re in the middle of an awesome mystery the likes of which we haven’t seen before in the history of space exploration. Word is that SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute scientists are considering devoting their time to it, and hopefully more research teams will get involved too. I seriously cannot wait to see what they come up with.
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