Weird lights, might be aliens (KIC 8462852)

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Re: Weird lights, might be aliens (KIC 8462852)

Postby Braininvat on January 14th, 2016, 4:19 pm 

Wow, that is some weird F star behavior. Very hard to imagine natural dimming phenomena that operate on that timescale. Thanks, I'm going to be paying a lot more attention to this.
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Re: Weird lights, might be aliens (KIC 8462852)

Postby Dudley on January 21st, 2016, 1:50 pm 

Astronomers have been watching Tabby's Star, and they've said that when, or if, it dims again, they will analyze its light with the spectroscope. By this they expect to determine if dust, or something larger is causing the star to dim.
With Dr. Schaefer's recent findings, we see that the star had been continuously dimming, over the century 1890 to 1989. We see indications in the current magnitude of the star that this trend has continued to this day.
If this is so, then the spectral studies already done of this star, which failed to find excess dust, seem to show us that larger objects are responsible for the dimming of KIC 8462852.

So, how large might the objects be? We see that the star has been dimmed up to 15 to 22 percent.
This suggests that something is covering about 40 to 50 percent of the star. This amounts to some 550,000 to 700,000 miles.
Natural objects of this size are stars, not planets. It seems natural to expect that they would shine conspicuously. No such stars have been found near Tabby's Star. The searches have been sensitive enough to find a distant red dwarf companion star.
Assemblies of solar collecting structures? The more we learn, the less improbable this seems.
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Re: Weird lights, might be aliens (KIC 8462852)

Postby Braininvat on January 21st, 2016, 2:05 pm 

Agree, and the need for spectroscopic analysis is clear. If we have large sheets of, say, alloyed metals or "manmade" composites absorbing stellar radiation, there should be some fairly distinctive signature of this.
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Re: Weird lights, might be aliens (KIC 8462852)

Postby Dudley on January 21st, 2016, 2:52 pm 

Its been suggested that the outward facing surfaces of a Dyson swarm should show mid-infrared radiation, as waste heat. This has been looked for but not found at Tabby's Star. This is one of the main reasons that Dr. Schaefer doubts that a Dyson swarm is present there, despite the suggestive evidence he uncovered.

It may be, though, that greater energy efficiency than we expect could bring the temperature on the outside of the swarm down to the point that we couldn't readily detect it, especially at a distance of 1500 light years.
They seem to believe that a determination about the size of the dimming bodies could be made, however.
Since the light of the star is now believed to be substantially dimmed all the time, it seems that the spectra already taken, which reveal no excess dust, probably point to larger objects.
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Re: Weird lights, might be aliens (KIC 8462852)

Postby Dudley on February 8th, 2016, 4:33 pm 

The scientific paper that first brought discussion of KIC 8462852 to the fore (Boyajian, et al. Where's the Flux) contains an interesting, but little-discussed observation. The authors note, in section 2.1, that the dips in the star's brightness seem to occur on multiples of about 48 & 1/2 days. In fact there two sets of such dips, offset from one another by half this period.

This might be taken as evidence of a planet, large comet, or compact debris cloud with an orbital period of 24 days, except for one fact. Most of the multiples of 24 days show no dips in light output at all.
Any explanation for the short term dimming of this star might be a better one, if it could explain how matter became arrayed at multiples of intervals of 24 days, along the orbit of KIC 8462852.
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Re: Weird lights, might be aliens (KIC 8462852)

Postby moranity on February 8th, 2016, 5:13 pm 

A previous star acting like the one that is dimming by 20% odd, due to something orbiting it, was due to that "star" being five stars in close orbit.
from wikipedia:
"KIC 8462852 has been compared by Kepler's Steve Howell with KIC 4110611, another star with an odd light curve (which proved, after years of research, to be a part of a five-star system)"

20% is a massive dip for a star, but what ever is orbiting it must be at some distance if its periodicity is 2 years odd, do they have a measure of it's mass?
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Re: Weird lights, might be aliens (KIC 8462852)

Postby Dudley on February 10th, 2016, 5:01 pm 

I would point out, too, that the same lengths of time between dips in light output from KIC 8462852 occur repeatedly. So, we have 6 times 48 & 1/2 days, 15 times, and 48 & 1/2 days itself, each occurring twice, in the record.
Something far from a random-looking collection of numbers. These three examples account for 6 of 8 lapses of time between dimming incidents at Tabby's Star.
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Re: Weird lights, might be aliens (KIC 8462852)

Postby Braininvat on February 6th, 2017, 10:18 am 

Update in October 2016 (I neglected to post then)....looks like the star had an overall dimming of 1% from 2009 to 2013. Quite mystifying.

http://www.space.com/34303-alien-megastructure-star-strange-dimming-mystery.html

https://arxiv.org/abs/1609.03505
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