This week, the buzz was clear.. there is a potential “megastructure” somewhere out there.. it is a structure, or thing in space, that blocks a lot of sunlight.. It may be a Dyson Sphere.. it may be well.. dust.. It could be something very exciting, or something exciting but just not contained within it life. From a few days back:
DISCOVERY’s website quoted:
A star, named KIC 8462852, has been found with a highly curious transit signal.In a paper submitted to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers, including citizen scientists from the Planet Hunters crowdsourcing program, report: “Over the duration of the Kepler mission, KIC 8462852 was observed to undergo irregularly shaped, aperiodic dips in flux down to below the 20 percent level.”
The research paper is thorough, describing the phenomenon, pointing out that this star is unique – we’ve seen nothing like it. Kepler has collected data on this star steadily for four years. It’s not instrumental error. Kepler isn’t seeing things; the signal is real.
“We’d never seen anything like this star,” Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoctorate researcher at Yale University and lead author, told The Atlantic. “It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.”
Today I saw a headline speaking about the internet buzz. It asks what do “real scientists” think of the megastructure idea.. I found that to be a somewhat dismissive headline, no? Something that alleges, in a sense, that the researchers who found this thing to begin with are not real. . . ?
The megastructure story won’t go away.
Last week, one person responsible for pushing it to a wider audience was Art Bell on his show MIDNIGHT IN THE DESERT. His competition, George Noory, said the megastructure idea was debunked. Noory is wrong. It is not debunked. Without further research from Kepler we are without an answer.. speculating about what could be but not knowing what is . It’s amazing and strange, mysterious and inspiring. All at the same time.
One man’s comments are worth listening to .. Michio Kaku has some extremely interesting words to CBS news.. Give it a whirl and see if you have the same dismissive thoughts after listening.