Aliens in Space!

Did you hear the one about NASA finding evidence of aliens?

OK, it’s not a joke, but it’s also extremely unlikely to be what the stories in various media have been suggesting. Essentially, the Kepler Space Telescope is looking for planets around distant stars by measuring very small changes in the star’s brightness. If the change follows certain patterns, including repeating regularly, there’s a good chance that it’s because a planet orbiting that star blocks a bit of the light as it passes between the star and us. In this case the pattern is not regular, so it’s not a planet. But it also doesn’t look like anything else we’ve seen or conjectured, so scientists have broadened the scope of possible explanations to see if there is a sensible theory.

One wild idea that came out of this is that an alien civilization may have constructed a massive array of structures around this star, perhaps to harvest its energy. While this idea fits the observed data pretty well, that is not any kind of proof. It just means that there are still lots of things going on in space that we don’t yet understand.

About Greg Marshall

I am a retired electronics engineer and after a few months of enjoying my leisure I began to miss doing product development. My astronomy hobby always needed new solutions to unique problems, so I decided that whenever I came up with a good solution I would try to make it available to others.

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