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%.


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?

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”

Arthur C Clarke

NOTE: No ownership claimed on images – found on google

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In Universe made up of Empty Space – What are we?

Atoms – there’s not much to them in the first place, measures in something like picometres and consisting of a core of protons and / or neutrons with electron shells around it. but when you consider that atoms are about 99.9999999999996% empty space that makes you think.

A hydrogen atom is about 99.9999999999996% empty space. Put another way, if a hydrogen atom were the size of the earth, the proton at its center would be about 200 meters (600 feet) across.

This is really quite profound if you think about it. The chair you sit on – 99.9999999999996% empty space.

The car you drive – 99.9999999999996% empty space.

The house you live in – 99.9999999999996% empty space.

You yourself and the clothes you’re wearing – 99.9999999999996% empty space.

That’s a lot of stuff that’s empty space that doesn’t feel like it’s empty space. I mean the clothes we all wear – it’s a good thing they don’t look like 99.9999999999996% empty space or we would all be in trouble!

The realities of the universe we live in are at odds with how we all take it for granted when this is considered. Einstein himself said that all matter is energy. The humble atom is exactly that, made up of particles or energy that hold it together made mostly of nothing.

Science and spirituality are normally a million miles apart, yet when we get to to this level, the fundamental building blocks of how we and everything is made it suddenly doesn’t seem so far fetched to think of our reality in terms of the energy we give out and being affected by the energy around us.

How is this useful to us in our everyday life? Not sure, but it makes me think about the world and everything in it differently. It makes me realise that existence is something truly incredible and unfathomable. I can’t even begin to understand how it all works and why it’s all here. Because if someone is studying atoms it’s basically a large group of atoms formed into a being, studying an atom.

We are the universe observing itself whether in the tiny sense, or the universal sense.

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Marvelling at a Marvel-ous Captain

I missed out on watching Captain Marvel at the cinema, so I had to wait until it came out on the streaming services and as it happened it came out the other week and I watched it. But in the time it’s taken me to watch it I’ve noticed a lot of hate and negativity towards to star Brie Larson. I never get rolled up in this kind of crap but it did make me curious to see what the fuss is about.

In short I can’t see what the problem is and this is where (I feel) we are seeing a lot of increased criticism that is neither needed or wanted creeping into the fan bases of popular films. I don’t remember this kind of thing happening years ago it seem now that everyone has to be a critic. Personally for me I thought Captain Marvel was a great film and I would like to see a second film released soon with Brie as the lead again.

Anyone who thinks otherwise… meh. Whatever.

The Plot

The plot I thought hit a good balance between the simple fight between good and evil and the more complex controversy of who really is your enemy. It gave the story two interesting and different halves with the common theme of who Vers (aka Carol Danvers) was and what her history was.

The story twists from the simple fight of good and evil to rediscovering a forgotten self, a hamn taken from Earth and in the process discovering the truth and how what she’s been taught is wrong.

Brie Larson

Brie Larson played the hero Carol Danvers and I thought she was great. The no nonsense character who constantly sought to reach her true potential while overcoming the obstacles in her way was nice. It put subtle but clear parallels on today’s life of removing the unnecessary obstacles from anyone who wishes to achieve – including and especially women.

Being set in the 1990’s put’s an interesting slant on this as we forget that it wasn’t that long ago that strong divides were enforced and encouraged and even though we

What I would say here is that how Larson acted has been criticised by a lot of people. Comments on her not smiling to be frank are unnecessary. She did a great job so all I can do is give the thumbs up.

Samuel L Jackson

With Samuel L Jackson playing a rather young Fury we get to see a beginning in the Marvel universe as well. Turning up to Sporting two eyes for most of the film we find later that a rather weird cat that can eat a lot of aliens has a rather nasty scratch.

What’s also neat about Captain Marvel is we see the beginning of the Avengers initiative. Carol Danvers pilot callsign serving as the inspiration that takes her and the Marvel heroes that come after into the Avengers future.

In summary this was a great Marvel hero film, the first with seriously powerful female hero and it deserves to be realised as such. Captain Marvel is not overstated as being female and neither is it understated either. The negative comments it’s attracted is to me part of the toxic attention that seems to be attracted to the big fantasy films such as Marvel and Star Wars and it’s not needed or wanted.

I’m looking forward to seeing more Brie Larson as Captain Marvel and I hope it’s not too far away and I would really like to see this character go places and great things done with it. Because she can go anywhere.

No ownership claimed on images – Taken from Google

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“Oh here’s another leak.” The young woman pointed, stopping and looking back.

“Dammit.” The deep voice of a man replied. “Have we got any buckets left?”

“Just the one.” The young woman replied, she help it up to the man. Both of them looked disheveled and tired. Their white pressure suits looking far from white with dirt and grime. Cassi knew the routine now, she would climb under the the cables, pipes and other stuff to reach the leak and then put the bucket under it. She would then record the location and go back to retrieve the water. Garret was to big to get down there and was better at lifting things out of the way.

Cassi crawled under, wincing at the pain in her hands, knees and back now. On top of that the cold was crippling. “There, got it in place.”

“Good, come back out.” Garret instructed.

Cassi crawled back out and Garret her her back up.




“You think that’s the last one?” Cassi asked.

“I doubt it very much. We’ve probably missed a load but we’ve done what we can. We need to seal the busted pipes to save what water we can.” Garret replied grimly. “Then we have to start the re-processing units up to make more water again.”

“We have enough to drink right?” Cassi asked.

“Drinking isn’t the problem, this whole ship runs on water. We split the atoms apart and use the hydrogen for fuel and the oxygen to breathe. If we don’t repair the pipes and start re-processing we’ll either end up stranded, freeze from the cold, suffocate or all three!”

Cassi didn’t have any words, she started crying even though she didn’t want her father the see her crying. That then made it worse and she cried more.

Garret pull his daughter to him and held her “Stop Cassi, it’s going to be ok.” Feeling quite the fraud for saying it, with only four people left there was a lot of work to be done before things got serious and he wasn’t sure it could be done.

“Where’s Nicks and Paula?” Cassi sniveled, not looking at her father.

“They’ve started repairs, we still need to identify all the leaks and save what water we can.” Garret regretted having to bring his daughter with him on missions, but what was he to do? The choices were limited in the colonies, you worked or starved. There couldn’t be any dead weight. Looking over Garret stared at a bulkhead door. “That’s the door that’s meant to have failed.”

“What was that?” Cassi asked.

Garret let Cassi go and walked over to the door, he examined it for a moment before pressing some of the door controls. “It looks like someone deliberately compromised the safety controls.”

“Why would someone do that?” Cassi asked.

“I have no idea.” Garret looked around the door. “When this door opened the air was released pulling out everyone into space and the water in the fuel pipes froze, expanded and busted the pipes. But why?”

A moment later and the ship rocked, Garrett steadied himself and looked over at Cassie, she was ok but shaken. “What was that?” He radioed through to Nicks and Paula.

A voice came back through the intercom. “One of the storage tanks blew, I don’t think we can save the ship now, I would say within the hour the water will get into the workings of the reactor regulators and this will be a giant fireball!”

“Ok.” Garret replied. “Get what things you need and get to the hangar quick!”

“Got it!”

Garret turned to Cassie and looked into her blue eyes. “We need to get off the ship, go to our quarters and get the things we need, you know them we’ve discussed this. Can you do that?”

Cassie nodded.

“Good girl, go and then get to the hanger, the one we just came from as quickly as you can and only do those things.”

Cassie ran for their quarters Garret followed then the path the the hangar split, shouting to Cassie to remind her to be quick he slid down the access ladder.

Garret was priming the shuttle for launch, it had already been twenty minutes and there was no sign of anyone. The ship was making some unhealthy groaning noises and Garret was worried, thinking over and over, they be here. Don’t worry.

A few minutes later all three of them appeared. He had to restrain his instinct to shout at them all for taking so long. Instead he smiled as he saw Cassie with far more than she should have brought. Blankets and bags of this and that, he noticed that she had brought some extra’s for him too.

Nicks looked at Garret “We found this one on the way and thought we better help.”

“Nice one, but we don’t have much time.”

“The shuttle won’t get us back you know that right?” Nicks pointed out.

“I know, but I’ve prepared the other shuttle, we can dock and share resources.”

“Nice idea.” Nicks agreed. “Who’s flying it?”

Garret stared at Nicks.

“Oh, no… err. I’m not qualified!”

“No, you’re not.” Garret agreed. “But I need you to fly it out, that’s it. I’ll do the rest. Paula will be with you. Can you do it?”

Nicks nodded, without any further delay they manned the shuttles.

“Anytime now.” Paula told them.

They looked out at the bright speck that was the ship. Moments passed and anticipation grew. Garret looked on but was distracted. Wondering why someone would over ride safety controls and kill so many like that. He remembered stories from Earth history about ships like Mary Celeste and the Great Eastern that were shrouded in mystery, this ship would be the same. The Poseidon a great ship, run by water and then then destroyed by it.

The glare was so intense it couldn’t be looked at directly and then as soon as it came, it was gone.

This was the Blog Battle Entry for January 2020 and the prompt was Bucket.

© Simon Farnell 2020

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News | NASA Says Goodbye to One of Agency’s Great Observatories

One of NASA’s four Great Observatories, Spitzer launched on Aug. 25, 2003, and has studied the cosmos in infrared light. Its breathtaking images have revealed the beauty of the infrared universe.

Spitzer made some of the first studies of exoplanet atmospheres (atmospheres of planets around stars other than our Sun). It confirmed two and discovered five of the seven Earth-size exoplanets around the star TRAPPIST-1 – the largest batch of terrestrial planets ever found around a single star. On Thursday, Jan. 30, engineers will decommission the Spitzer spacecraft and bring this amazing mission to a close.

See full article here: Spitzer project coming to a close

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Letter to Myself – Open Next Year (2021)

For those of you I haven’t yet caught – Happy new year to you! Those of you that have been followers for some time will know that this is something that I take part in early in the new year, I take a look at my latter for last year and write myself a letter to open next year.

Back in 2016 my friend Erin of Bubbles and Beebots tagged me in on this and I’ve been keeping this up since then as I have found this to be an interesting and relevant way to remember where I was a year ago and maybe help guide me on the year ahead.

For anyone who reads this I would definitely recommend giving this a go at least once as see what you think of it. Do it in the way that you think is best, there’s no rules and for me at least this is far more worthwhile that any new year resolutions. This isn’t just about looking back, it’s about looking forward too. I’ve tagged some bloggies on the end of this but really if you fancy it, do it and link it to this post so I can see who and what’s going on.

Last year’s letter is here:
Letter to Myself – Open Next Year (2020)

Hello Simon of 2021, assuming you’re reading this you survived another year and here you are looking into another year with questions, hope and a bit of wonder.

As you know 2019 wasn’t great in many ways, a lot of things went wrong, nearly got arrested and carted off by the police and such like. You struggled for a long time with a lot of it. You need to put this behind you in 2020 and look forward.

But look forward to what?

You need to start listening to yourself a bit, you need to work on the things you want to work on. Ignore the distractions, find the places and times that you can think and do this. You need to work on being you, the full fat (no pun intended) unashamed you. Right now more than at any other time you want to break free of the bonds that make you this normalised robot and be more but you don’t know how and in what way.

Find what you need to be and do it, write the stories, draw the drawings, create the concepts and make them yours. You can do it, I know you can. Don’t let anyone drag you down, you’ve done that for far too long and you know you’re sick of it. You have to be brave, fierce in your pursuit of this. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Leave behind all that has been and make this year your year and use this to build on in the future. You’ll find the answers you’re seeking, just keep looking and they will come to you. Be kind to yourself as well as others and remember to rest more, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Read lots of books, write lots, draw lots and live lots when you can. Seek peace where you can learn to be ok with yourself in your own mind and body. Keep looking to the Sun, the Moon and the stars, re-discover them and capture them.

Live life a bit so that when you look back at 2020, even if you’re utterly broke you’ll think oh yeah – let’s do that again!

Now go and get on with it!

I’m going to suggest a few people to try this, anyone can and I think everyone should. These are just some names out of a hat:

Confessions of a Blogaholic

Rhapsody Boheme

Eliza’s Journey Through Life

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Blog Orbit – Blog Date January 2020

Hello bloggies, happy new year to all of you! I hope you had a good Christmas break and are back doing whatever it is that you do. As it’s been pointed out we’re not only in a new year but in a new decade. Looking back on many levels things are nowhere near the same as they were and looking around the world the planet is also a very different place.

I hasten to add in my view not all good.

So what am I to do with this new year? A whole new year of possibilities and of things to think about, talk about and to show you all. I hope that this year will be a great year generally but also the most creative year for me and find out more about what I can do. I hope it’s going to be exciting and I hope you’ll all stay with me!

What is coming in the immediate future – hmm.. I’m not sure yet. I am going to try and keep a better writing schedule and try and blog so I’ll likely be blogging less but who knows? Like every year I’ll just go with it and see what happens and what works. I will be posting my 2020 letter to myself sometime soon, if you don’t know what that is keep an eye out and maybe it’s something you’ll take on?

The other thing to remember is that this new year will undoubtedly have it’s challenges and dips, I hope they’re few but they are likely to come. As I look back on last years posts I’m reminded that people come and people go, sometimes only here for a short time and sometimes people that have been around a while are suddenly gone.

It seems to be the ebb and flow of life and particularly in the blogging world and it can be for many reasons. We need to cherish those around us for as long as they’re around.

Let me know how you guys are – what are you working on? How’s life?

Keep smiling and writing.

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