Strange, irregular light signals from a distant star spotted by the Kepler Space Telescope may be coming from an alien civilization, researchers believe.
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has been studying a patch of space near the Cygnus and Lyrae constellations for the past four years, and has just made a peculiar discovery. According to a report from the Atlantic, an unusual star between these constellations has made investigators begin to wonder if the phenomenon is natural or made by some other intelligent life form.
According to postdoctoral researcher Tabetha Boyajian from Yale, “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.”
The Kepler research team was using the telescope to search for small drops in the light emanating from the star. It searched for these fluctuations in more than 150,000 different stars, in an effort to spot planets crossing in front of them. The researchers wanted to look for patterns in the light fluctuations that would indicate planets orbiting around a star, presumably as a part of a solar system.
While normal planets create a smooth, constant drop in light as they pass in front of a sun from Kepler’s vantage point, this planet is nothing like the others. There appears to be a “mess” of objects circling the star, which has baffled researchers.
The star is of a mature age, and any naturally scattered material would be compressed over time due to gravity. Either the irregularly shaped orbiting shapes were deposited in front of the star recently, or they were placed there deliberately.
Boyajian recently published a study with Planet Hunters outlining the findings, which can be found here. While there are a few plausible explanations for strange fluctuations in light, scientists still aren’t sure how the materials in front of the star got there in the first place. l in origin.”