Scientists are abuzz after the Kepler telescope spotted a strange object.
A bizarre light emitting from a distant star has the scientific community wondering — have they found an alien megastructure?
Of course, it may be just leftover particles from the asteroid belt, or even a technical glitch, but many are still hoping that it’s something else entirely, according to a USA Today report.
The star, named KIC 8462852, is behaving in a very strange fashion based on observations from the powerful Kepler Space Telescope owned by NASA, according to the report. The star was first spotted back in 2009, and for years, it has been exhibiting a weird light pattern.
Tabetha Boyajian, who is a postdoctoral fellow at Yale, told USA Today that, “You see all sorts of weird stuff in space, but you start to recognize general patterns and can attribute certain shapes of light curves to different phenomena, but this star was unlike anything we’d ever seen,” she said according to the report.
Kepler’s job is to look for other planets similar to Earth in our Milky Way Galaxy. It launched in 2009 so it hasn’t been out there long, and already it’s found more than a thousand planets that have tickled the imaginations of scientists and the general public.
But the light from this star has really puzzled scientists, and first came to their attention a few years ago. What’s weird about the light is that it seems to indicate there is a lot of matter circling the star, which would be normal for a young star, but KIC 8462852 is an older star.
This light curve has been put through a number of scenarios by scientists, who still don’t have an answer of what caused it. One scenario suggests that another star passed through the star’s system, causing comets to be left over and circle the star, altering the light pattern.
But could it be aliens? After all, most scenarios doesn’t seem to really explain the data. So perhaps there isn’t a natural cause after all.