Updated 03:43 PM EDT, Mon, Jul 15, 2019

Kepler Space Telescope: ‘Alien Megastructure’ Found?

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Data taken from the Kepler Telescope has found a very strange phenomena regarding KIC 8462852, a star located between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra. The telescope had been focused on the area for more than four years, and during that time, it has detected consistent drops in the star's brightness, which points to the scenario that something very big is orbiting the star, according to Fox News.  

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope is primarily tasked to observe and detect small, rocky worlds orbiting distant stars. The powerful telescope also detects stellar flares, star spots and dusty planetary rings. Observing over 150,000 stars at a time, Kepler has detected a number of notable cosmic phenomena during its years of service.

However, the activity around KIC 8462852 is quite unique.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Tabetha Boyajian, a post-doctorate student at Yale states that the phenomena around the star has not been detected before.

"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," she said.

What is particularly interesting about KIC 8462852 is the fact that its light dims considerably, almost 20%, during specific points in time, suggesting that there is a massive object orbiting it. Such dimming is quite common for young stars, which have a tendency to flicker at intermittent periods and reflect an excess amount of infrared light.

However, KIC 8462852 is not a young star.

CNN states that a number of explanations have been explored, but the most scientifically probable hypothesis states that the dimming is the result of a swarm of comets, which were pulled into the area after another star had passed through KIC 8462852's solar system.

The hypothesis may be unlikely though, since the event should have happened fairly recently. For the dimming to be caused by the comets, the event should have happened just a few thousand years ago. Cosmically speaking, that is an extremely short span of time, reports Discovery News.

Of course, the last hypothesis involves something that comes straight from science fiction. After all, Kepler's sensors can not only detect natural objects. It can also detect artificial structures in space. Simply put, if an alien civilization is advanced enough, there is a possibility that they might have built a series of megastructures in space to harness the power of the nearby star.

If this is indeed the case, then somewhere out there, in between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, lies an advanced civilization, looking back at our solar system and noticing that the sun dims ever slightly, every 365 days.  

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