Information published in the magazine The Atlantic...if proven, will be the most important one of the century. Only an extraterrestrial presence could explain the strange variations in the luminosity of this star that intrigues astronomers.
L’Star KIC 8462852 is located 1480 light years from Earth. It has been studied for four years by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. This instrument was launched in 2009 with the mission of discovering extrasolar planets. As part of these observations, astronomers have spotted strange falls in the light we receive from this star. These falls are irregular and sometimes very sudden. In any case, they are unpredictable. This is unusual because observations of other stars usually show regular brightness. One study s pending approval will be published shortly describing the phenomenon.
Cited by New Scientist one of the authors of the study, Tabetha Boyajian of the Yale University Astronomy Department says, " We've never seen anything like that star before... ». Kepler's database contains observations from 150,000 stars and none of these observations are comparable to what KIC 8462852 offers us. The hypotheses of miscalculations or telescope failure having been ruled out, all that remained was to look for cosmological reasons. For astronomers, the presence of stars with variable luminosity is not a first. These phenomena can be explained by several well-identified reasons: the passage of dust in front of the star's disk of light, collision with asteroids, cometary rain, etc.
The problem is that all these phenomena would have left very specific signatures that are not found in the case of KIC 8462852.
With natural reasons ruled out, the article in The Atlantic presents the analysis of Jason Wright, an astronomer at the University of Pennsylvania. He believes that only an unnatural explanation could explain these irregular falls in brightness. He puts forward the idea of artificial megastructures. It's as if a gigantic array of solar panels had been put into orbit around the star. Fascinated by Kepler's analysis of the data and the "crazy curves" produced by this star, Jason Wright says: " Extraterrestrials should always be the very last hypothesis to be considered, he said, but this was like what you would expect an alien civilization to build. ".
Wright is preparing a scientific paper on this subject, and in the meantime, Tabetha Boyajian has asked Kepler for additional observing time to listen more closely to KIC 8462852, looking for artificial radio signals. We would then have the definitive signature of the presence of an extraterrestrial technological civilization.