Is there alien life around KIC 8462852? Data from the Kepler space telescope has recently shown that a star in the KIC 8462852 star system, unofficially named Tabby’s star, shows evidence of dimming of 20 percent and more.
- A star in the KIC 8462852 star system has dimmed more than 20 percent.
- One explanation for the dimness could be alien structures blocking the star’s light.
- The Array has been used to colect data about the star but no deliberate signals have been found.
Besides the many natural explanations for the strong changes in the star’s brightness that have been proposed so far, there is also a possibility that a technologically advanced civilization has built structures on the orbit around the star and that those structures are responsible for the dimming.
Possible such large scale constructions could include solar panels for large scale energy collection or artificial space habitats. But as much as believers in the existence of alien life would like to imagine mega-structures in space causing the star to lose some of its brightness, the data collected by the Allen Telescope Array by the SETI Institute doesn’t show encouraging evidence of this being the case.
The Array consists of 42 antennas and it has been used to observe the star and look for signs of alien life for the past two weeks. Two types of radio signals were sought. Narrow band signals, which scientists assume would be sent by alien societies wishing to communicate their presence, are the first type of signals they looked for. The second type of signals they will be looking for are broad-band signals that might be caused by beamed propulsion within the KIC 8462852 star system.
This is the first time the institute is using the telescope to look for wide-band signals, a type of signals that the SETI searches don’t usually include. Analysis of the Array data do not show any clear evidence for either type of signal existing between the frequencies of 1 and 10 GHz. This excludes the possibility of omnidirectional transmitters of approximately 100 times the entire daily terrestrial energy usage when speaking about the narrow-band signals, and 10 million times that usage for broad-band signals.
However, after a two week search, the Allen Telescope Array has found no proof of these signals being received. As there are no deliberate signals are being received from within the KIC 8462852 star system, there can be no evidence to support the theory that intelligent alien life forms could have built mega-structures that are blocking the star’s light and are causing the dimness in the star. The lack of findings suggest that the star’s dimness is in fact due to natural causes.
Image source: www.pixabay.com