Huge ‘alien megastructures’ built by a supercivilisation could be orbiting 64 nearby stars, expert claims
- Last year, astronomers spotted the Tabby Star brightening and dimming
- One theory suggests this was caused by megastructure called a Dyson’s Sphere
- An astronomer says the structures will be easy to spot with infrared telescopes
- He is urging researchers to turn their attention to 64 nearby stars
By Shivali Best
Last year, astronomers reported sightings of an ‘alien megastructure’ orbiting a distant star.
Now, a scientist has suggested that spotting these megastructures could be relatively easy – as long as experts focus on the right places.
He says that astronomers should turn their attention to 64 pulsar stars near our planet, which he believes offer the best chance of hosting an alien megastructure.
In 2015, astronomers spotted a star, known as Tabby’s Star that could be seen mysteriously brightening and dimming.
Several theories were suggested for this behaviour, with one expert suggesting that this ‘winking’ may have been caused by the rotation of an alien megastructure, called a Dyson’s Sphere.
Now an astronomer from the Free University of Tbilisi, Georgia, is backing up this claim, and even says that the structures should be easy to spot with current technology.
In a paper published last year, Professor Zaza Osmanov said the alien megastructures are more likely to be shaped like thin discs rather than ‘spherical shells.’
If his theory is correct, this would allow a Dyson’s Sphere to exist in a star’s ‘habitable zone.’
And in his new paper, Professor Osmanov argues that if the Dyson’s Sphere does exist in a habitable zone, it should be easy to spot using infrared telescopes.
Tabby’s Star, known officially as KIC 8462852, has baffled experts since it was discovered in 2015.
Observations revealed its light dimmed regularly, as do distant stars when their planets pass in front of them.
But while the stars of most exoplanet systems are seen to dim by a few per cent, KIC 8462852 dimmed by more than 20 per cent over periods of months.
Some have claimed this dimming could be evidence of a Dyson Sphere – a hypothetical structure which could be used by an advanced alien race to harness the energy of a star.
Scientists remain skeptical, offering that the dimming could be explained by a dust ring around the star or a hail of comets passing in between the star and Earth.
Professor Osmanov is urging astronomers to focus their search on 64 pulsar stars.
In his paper, published on arXiv, Professor Osmanov said: ‘We have argued that by monitoring the nearby zone of the solar system approximately 64 pulsars are expected to be located inside it.’
But Professor Osmanov has warned that should we find the alien megastructure, it could be extremely powerful.
What is a Dyson Sphere?
A suggested method for harnessing the power of an entire star is known as a Dyson sphere.
First proposed by theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson in 1960, this would be a swarm of satellites that surrounds a star.
They could be an enclosed shell, or spacecraft spread out to gather its energy – known as a Dyson swarm.
If such structures do exist, they would emit huge amounts of noticeable infrared radiation back on Earth.
But as of yet, such a structure has not been detected.
Source: All About Space magazine
He said: ‘Rapidly rotating pulsars are very powerful and harvesting their energy would be quite profitable, but a habitable zone would be much farther and mass of a material required for constructing the mega-ring would exceed the total mass of all planets, asteroids, comets, centaurs and interplanetary dust in a typical planetary system by several orders of magnitude.’
This suggests that an alien civilisation living on a megastructure could be strong enough to wipe out humanity.
Read more: arxiv.org/pdf/17… (PDF)
This article (‘Alien megastructures’ could be orbiting 64 nearby stars) was originally published on Daily Mail and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.