Besides Kepler’s ability of finding small, rocky worlds orbiting distant stars, it can also detect different space phenomenon like stellar flares, star spots and dusty planetary rings.
This time however, Kepler detected the signal of a supposed vast artificial structure orbiting a star only 1,500 light years away from Earth.
After finishing all plausible explanations, scientists now believe that this complex structure might be an artificial construction made by an advanced alien civilization way up on the Kardashev scale of comparison.
This megastructure works like a supersized solar array orbiting around its host star, stocking the energy and sending it back to the source. The size of the structure is so grand that it’s blocking a considerable fraction of starlight as it spins around its host.
Normally all the exoplanets discovered by Kepler have a typical planet-shape, meaning they are round. This time however, the telescope detected something that isn’t round and behaves unnatural.
A paper has been submitted to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in which a particular star named KIC 8462852 is described.
Over the duration of the Kepler mission, KIC 8462852 was observed to undergo irregulary shaped, aperiodic dips in flux down to below the twenty percent level.
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. – Tabetha Boyajian, researcher at Yale University
Studies mostly focused on two interesting anomalies at KIC 8462852, one that was recorded between days 788 and 795 of the Kepler mission and between days 1510 to 1570.
The first event showed a single transit causing a star brightness drop-off of 15 percent, while the second event manifested as a burst of several transits, possibly indicating towards mass of different objects, resulting in a brightness dip of up to 22 percent. For such a major dip in brightness to occure, the transiting objects have to be extremely big.
Considering that our galaxy has existed for more than 13 billion years, it’s not hard to imagine that an alien civilization may be out there, possessing technology that allows them to build megastructures around stars.
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