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Has the Kepler Space Telescope Discovered an Alien Megastructure?

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by SupremacyKing2, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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  2. The_Cebador

    The_Cebador Chieftain

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    The article explains very well the Kepler telescope and how it detected the abnormal dim. It also explains the hypothetical Dyson's Sphere, so I haven't got much to add. Almost all astronomers think that the probability for aliens is pretty low and there are a lot of other natural explanations that are more plausible, such as a big debris cloud.
     
  3. Gigaz

    Gigaz civoholic

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    From what I've read KIC 8462852 seems to be a main sequence star that is similar in size to the sun, so earth-like planets are completely plausible. It's impossible to put any likelihood number on the Alien question at the moment because we simply don't know enough. But we will know it soon enough if it's Aliens.
     
  4. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    If nothing else, this is an interesting dry-run for how people will find out. The researchers are going to notice some anomaly, and then the news will go out. It will be poo-pooed, but with a subtext of 'maaaaaybe?'.

    Nearly no one will act surprised. We all seemed to think it would happen eventually.
     
  5. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    And if it is confirmed, it will be strongly denied by certain segments of society and become a political hot-potato (at least in the US).
     
  6. Gigaz

    Gigaz civoholic

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  7. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    That's really exciting. The idea of it dimming over decades throws a host of theories out the window.
     
  8. MilitantSecular

    MilitantSecular Chieftain

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    maybe not, everytime I hear 'alien life' discovered it usually turns out to be a false alarm but I think NASA had some great years with the Hubble, Kepler and will have great years with the JWST. It is a shame NASA cancelled missions such as the TPF and LISA, I wish politicians would invest more in space exploration. I wonder now with NASA needing a Russian lift on the Soyuz to get to the ISS has the agency fallen behind on exploration? I wonder if other agencies like the Europeans will compete with NASA and would it be possible for China to put a manned base on the Moon or Mars before NASA?
     
  9. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    ESA does not really compete with NASA. In fact, they collaborate quite a lot. The ESA also collaborates with Roscosmos to a lesser extent through the 'launcher' arm of European governments (Arianespace) which collaborates with Russian launch vehicle providers quite extensively. They now launch 'Europeanized' Soyuz rockets from Kourou, for example. ESA and Roscosmos are also collaborating on a Mars orbiter/lander though this is the only scientific collaboration outside of the ISS I am aware of.

    NASA isn't really falling behind in exploration and by many measures is doing better than just about everyone. The ESA restricts itself mostly to the ISS and LEO (with a few notable exceptions such as Rosetta) and Roscosmos does almost nothing scientifically speaking aside from experiments on the ISS.

    Meanwhile, NASA is gearing up for manned exploration of deep space via the SLS, has begun the process of handing over astronaut and resupply flights to private companies (which can then use the tech they develop to go deeper into space - see SpaceX's mission statement) and regularly launches scientific probes into deep space, other planets and LEO. The corner also seems to be finally turned on chronic under investment in NASA by politicians who are now finally giving funds in excess of what NASA requests.

    As for China, their plans are not well known to the western public and what little information we do know frequently changes. They are known to be working on a large booster for Lunar exploration but the progress of that booster is anyone's guess. They are committed to launching more space station modules of their own as well as more Taikonauts and have expressed desire to do manned lunar landings. Given the secrecy of their space program though, how much progress they are making is real versus pure propaganda is unknown to a large extent.

    Russia, by contrast, has slashed the budget of Roscosmos quite drastically and has scaled back plans for Lunar and Martian exploration to the point where they probably won't happen at all now. Further, they've finally shut up about detaching their modules from the ISS and starting their own station with them. They clearly can no longer afford that and it never worked as a political bargaining chip in the first place because despite the fact that they are the current sole launcher of manned missions to the ISS, that's about it. Their entire space program is derelict outside of their ISS involvement so for prestige reasons, they have to continue supporting the ISS as-is. They are working on a new launch pad in the Russian Far East (Vostochny) but that's seriously over budget and schedule, has been plagued with corruption and really only serves as a prestige project since it provides almost no real advantage to space exploration for them. Additionally, they are said to be on the cusp of introducing their new Angara rocket (which is also decades overdue) but it's yet to be seen that they will truly follow through with that and also what benefit the new launcher brings them over their older ones. I guess it may allow them to retire the Proton, (which is a mess on many levels) but only after the 'heavy' variants of Anagara are introduced which again, are probably a decade or more in the future, if at all.
     
  10. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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  11. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I wonder if there's a giant .... cloud ... that's slowly passing between us and that star. We were getting the leading edge a century ago, but it's been slowly getting thicker as it passes past.
     
  12. Michkov

    Michkov Chieftain

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    You'd see the same drop in brightness with other stars near by, if its a big cloud.
     
  13. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Hmmmn, yeah.

    This is so awesome.
     
  14. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Chieftain

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    There are supposed to be as many wandering planets about as orbiting planets.

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

    Sooner or later one will be found with its own accretion disc, ring system
    between Earth and a star. That would likely result in dimming.

    Although the accretion disc would need to be large in proportion to
    the mass of rogue planet or gravitational lensing would be observed.

    This might be one such instance.
     
  15. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I hope that the alien megastructure is just an alien :yup:
     
  16. J-man

    J-man Chieftain

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    The fact we can't explain the dimming doesn't mean it's caused by aliens. It's an interresting phenomenon and we don't know what it is, but it's not aliens.
     
  17. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Alien megastructure MUST be itself just a living alien, imo, as noted.
    Cause it would increase the terror factor.
    Which is only thing that matters, in the vein that a labyrinth only has reason to exist if a minotaur is hidden inside :D
     
  18. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    If we pump 1200 more beakers into it, we'll discover the structure causing the dimming.

    Wait a minute...
     

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