‘Blips’ in the light of a distant star seen by the Kepler Space Telescope could be our first sight of extraterrestrial life, alien-hunters have suggested.
The kepler mystery objects KIC 8462852, is NOT a planet - and could be a huge object built by an alien civilization.
Alien-hunters the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), think that the object might be a ‘power station’ built to harvest energy from a nearby stars.
Other scientists admit they are puzzled.
‘It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.’
The object causes ‘chaotic’ blips in the light of the star, as seen from our planet – but we don’t know what it is.
SETI think it might be an alien ‘megastructure’ – a huge ‘power station’ orbiting in space, harvesting energy from its parent star.
Many alien hunters believe that such objects would be one of the telltale signs of a massively advanced alien civilisation.
Other scientists believe it could be comets or an asteroid belt – but SETI now aims to point radio telescopes towards the star to ‘listen’ for the distinctive radio buzz of life.
Dr Duncan Forgan of the University of St Andrews suggested in an interview in 2013 that alien-hunters should shift their focus to such objects.
He says that megastructures would be the sign of civilisations far, far more advanced than ours - known as Kardashev Type II cvilisations among the SETI alien-hunting community.
“These structures are advanced technology,” says Dr Forgan. “To build these, you need a large amount of raw material, which would probably involve destroying a small planet or scooping up lots of asteroids.
“Civilisations that can construct this sort of stuff would need to be able to manipulate a very large amount of matter and energy, and in hazardous environments,” Dr Forgan says.
“To me, this would suggest a civilisation with an impressive spacefaring capability (i.e. several planets fully colonised in their star system), a large amount of automated or robotic assistance to do the grunt work, and a good deal of political will to boot.”