The Sci-Fi Files – Alien Megastructures

Some years ago, mankind found out how to find planets round other stars and this is done by measuring the light of a star and watching for a dip in the light that occurs when a planet (mainly a large one like Jupiter) passes in front of it. This can reduce the light of the star detected by about 1%.

transit

The problem of going out looking for stuff is that something can be discovered that wasn’t expect or maybe even wanted.


What is an observer meant to think if a star dims by as much as 15% – 20% and this fluctuates over a matter of many days? What could possibly dim a star by as much as that?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KIC_8462852

The most popular theory for this dimming is the light is being obstructed by an alien mega structure of some kind. An example of an Alien mega structure is a Dyson Sphere, a theoretical concept proposed by Freeman Dyson in 1960. A Dyson Sphere would almost or actually completely encompass a star, allowing the race that built it to be able to use all the energy from the star it’s was built around.

alien megatructure

The size that a planet orbiting around this star would need to be to dim it by 15% – 20% would be so massive and this would be detectable by a wobble in the star as the planet orbited. In essence what we have is a start that is dimming by an unusual amount. Whatever it is that’s causing it, natural or not has not been observed before. I may even be beyond our understanding.

We may not know for a long time what’s causing the dimming around KIC 8462852 but consider this, if there is an alien megastructure around it how much do they know about us? They must know we exist… surely? We in our relative technological infancy are able to possibly detect these alien races and their activity. If they are as technically advanced as we think then it stands to reason they are capable of travelling between stars, they almost certainly know about us and probably that we know about their existence.

Do they have a plan to reveal themselves, keep themselves hidden or… something else.

The possibilities are scary and exciting at the same time. We must never forget the quote from Arthur C Clarke:

“There are two possibilities, either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying”

 

Simon 🙂

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