Is this our first sign of alien life? 34



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It sounds like science fiction, but some of our finest scientific minds consider it a very real possibility. Somewhere out there, another civilisation may have built an immense structure – so big our telescopes could see them from afar.

The Kepler Space Telescope, designed to find distant planets far outside our solar system and stars far beyond the reach of naked eye, has found what The Atlantic calls “the most mysterious star in our galaxy”

This distant star has been giving strange light fluctuations unlike anything seen before.

“We’d never seen anything like this star,” says Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoctorate researcher at Yale. “It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.”

The light pattern given by the star suggests it could be surrounded by a huge amount of matter, orbiting in a very tight formation, blocking much of its light.

While it’s common for a young star to be surrounded by debris, this should not be possible for a star as old as this one; this orbiting matter would have either begun to form into planets, or been pulled into the sun’s gravity.

There could be plenty of reasons, as yet undiscovered by science, as to why this is possible. But one particular possibility – remote, but certainly plausible – has astronomers particularly excited: it’s an alien structure.

“Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider,” said Jason Write, an astronomer from Penn State University. “But this looked like something you would expect an alien civilisation to build”.

While he’s not jumping to conclusions write and his team suggests that these strange light patterns could indicate a “swarm of megastructures” surrounding the sun, perhaps harnessing its energy.

This idea, known as the “Dyson Sphere”, has been discussed for decades. Many astrophysicists consider this a logical way for a suitably advanced civilisation to collect energy. Here is one artist’s interpretation of what such a structure could look like:


Image by Kevin Gill

Write and his co-authors have put forward other theories as to how this could exist. However, all other explanations so far have come up short, leaving extraterrestrials – at this early stage – as a genuinely plausible option.

While plenty of further research will be needed, the merest possibility has us thrilled!

What do you think? Are you excited by this possibility? Do you believe it’s plausible? Or is it all a load of wishful thinking?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Maybe it’s the mob who put us on this planet lol.

    2 REPLY
    • don’t sell evolution short, I have no doubt we evolved from apes and what an amzing thing that was, and look how much our species has achieved

      1 REPLY
      • Very slight difference of opinion here. I don’t believe we evolved from apes, but that we and apes both evolved from an even earlier creature, which was the starting point for humans, apes, monkeys and a few other branches, some of which didn’t make it at all. But certainly it all rotates around the idea of evolution, the only logical method of development, in my humble opinion.

  2. It would be foolish to think that Humans are the only inhabitants of the Universe ….
    Definitely a believer ….

  3. In the big scheme of things we haven’t been searching for very long. Right now our technology is the most advanced its ever been in our existence. I believe once they establish themselves on Mars and can see deeper into space new and amazing universes will present themselves. I won’t be around to see it though.

  4. I love all this stuff, but none of it is proven, I would be very excited if it was, space exploration is still in it’s infancy, they have a lot more to learn and a big Universe to explore, if mankind can ever reach it

  5. I don’t believe aliens have ever come to earth, the cost of space travel would be immense I can imagine on any world, to just come and study us. But it would be nice if we prove the existence of life out there before I die

  6. Of course we’re not alone and anyone who thinks we are needs to think seriously about how many trillions of planets and billions of suns there are in the universe, are we alone… Stupid question

  7. They are out there, we followed one for about 2 hours from nth qld quite a few years ago now. I am a believer!!

  8. It would be the height of conceit to think that our planet had the only living lifeforms in an entire universe. To me, it simply doesn’t add up. It might not be, to us, a recognisable form of life, but I’m sure it exists, somewhere. Also, although I’m far from convinced, there seems to be a fair amount of ‘proof’ that some space travellers have already been here.

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