Astronomers Find What They Think Could Be ‘Alien Megastructures’ On Distant Planet [Video]
Y'all, things might have just gotten real. SETI researchers announced yesterday that they have come across some data they can't explain in data collected from monitoring a distant planet. Researchers say they cannot explain strange fluctuations in the light it emits, leading some to claim it could have a huge "alien megastructure" in front of it.
The star is called KIC 8462852, located 1480 light-years away. The Kepler Telescope has been monitoring and recording data from the star since 2009. This data is displaying a sort of light dimming anomaly that researchers don't know how to explain.
What I find really strange is how quick the words "Alien Megastructure" have been thrown out there. From the data their seeing, why would this even exist as a possible explanation? All that has been seen is data, not any structure of any kind. Honesty, it leads me think there's a lot more they know that we don't.
From CNN -
Users on the online astronomy crowd sourcing interface Planet Hunters discovered a peculiar light pattern between the Cygnus and Lyra constellations a few years ago. The group uses publicly available data gathered by NASA's Kepler Telescope, which has been tasked with finding Earth-like planets by searching for the periodic dimming of stars that might suggest such a planet is passing by.
Penn State Astronomer Jason Wright says hold on though, don't start jumping to conclusions just yet.
My philosophy of SETI," Wright wrote, referring to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, "is that you should reserve your alien hypothesis as a last resort." He also cited "Cochran's Commandment to planet hunters ... : Thou shalt not embarrass thyself and they colleagues by claiming false planets.
"It would be such a big deal if true, it's important that you be absolutely sure before claiming you've detected something, lest everybody lose credibility," the astronomer added. "Much more so for SETI.
Wright says one possible, plausible explanation is that the light dimming anomaly could be caused by asteroid comet fragments. He says that the odds are pretty low of that being the right answer, but he likes that explanation better than alien life at this point.