NASA May Have Found Evidence of an Advanced Alien Civilization in the Cygnus Star System
Also known as Tabby’s star, has shown inexplicable fluctuations in its brightness, potentially suggesting the presence of an advanced civilization.
There’s one star that many astronomers, both amateur and professional, are focusing on right now, known as KIC 8462852, or Tabby’s star. The odd nature of this star has led some to believe that it could possibly be a sign of highly intelligent alien life in the Cygnus star system, some 1,280 light years from us. What’s so intriguing about Tabby’s star is that it has been dimming drastically over time and in dramatic fluctuations.
These fluctuations have confounded scientists who have trained a multitude of high-powered telescopes on it, including NASA’s Kepler telescope that originally discovered it. The massive dips that have been recorded in its luminosity have led some to speculate that it could be an advanced alien civilization building a Dyson sphere or swarm around the star, harvesting its energy in a process referred to as star lifting.
Tabby’s star was first discovered by an astronomer at LSU, named Tabatha Boyajian. She is now the head of the Planet Hunters project, a program that searches for exoplanets in other solar systems, especially those that could potentially harbor life. She said that initially the program would have been deemed a success if they found just one exoplanet that fell in the habitable zone, but it has since found more than 50. But the program has received the most attention due to its recent observations of KIC 8462852, which has been exhibiting a phenomenon that scientists can’t fully explain.
What’s so strange about Tabby’s Star is that astronomers have recorded drastic dips in its brightness by up to 20 percent. To put it into perspective, usually a planet orbiting a star will only generate a one percent decrease in light. And while a decrease in brightness of this magnitude is common in young stars, due to their protoplanetary disks, Tabby’s star is not young and a disk has been ruled out from infrared imaging.
Numerous theories have been proposed to define the anomalies in the data associated with Tabby’s star, but none have succeeded in fully explaining what’s going on. Even Tabby, herself, hasn’t ruled out the possibility that it could be an alien civilization. She’s even asked some friends at SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) to aim a radio telescope on the planet to see if they can pick up any signals being transmitted form the area.
The Dyson sphere, in its different variations, is a concept first theorized in science fiction and made popular by Freeman Dyson. It fulfills a specific criterion on the Kardshev Scale, a hypothetical measure for the level of technological advancement of a civilization. Once a civilization reaches the point that it can harness all of the energy on its planet and others in its solar system, it would supposedly move on to build a sphere around its star, in order to meet its energy needs.
Scientists believe that whatever is orbiting Tabby’s star is within the habitable zone. And while some skeptics say that the strange results are simply incorrect data or bands of asteroids orbiting the star, many of these assertions have been disproven and no theory has sufficiently explained what’s going on.
Another bizarre variable that is evident in the observations is that the light coming from the star is blocked in an asymmetrical manner. If it were a planet or other orbiting body, one would expect to see symmetry. The star also appears to show an overall dimming over time, since observations began in the early 1900s. On average, the star has been dimming by 16 percent every 100 years. This is a highly unusual rate to see a star’s luminosity diminish. This could allow for two assumptions regarding the alien hypothesis. Either they are slowly extracting energy from the star, or they are slowly building solar panels around the star, blocking more of the light that we are able to see.
One might argue that this civilization would have to be moving very quickly to build its Dyson sphere, as Tabby’s star is 1.6 times the size of our sun. Also, one would expect to see an expulsion of waste, likely in the form of radiation, if they were harvesting directly from the star. But one user in the Reddit forum that is dedicated specifically to the star, brought up science fiction novelist, Arthur C. Clarke’s, third law regarding advanced civilizations; any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic. Essentially, a civilization’s technology, that is advanced to the point of harvesting energy from a star, would be incomprehensible to us.
Now that our attention is piqued and we have a number of eyes and ears trained on Tabby’s star maybe we’ll be able to discover what’s really going on in the Cygnus constellation. Is it simply a natural phenomenon that will lead us to new discoveries or groundbreaking evidence of a hyper-advanced civilization? Hopefully we will soon learn more.
Nemesis Star Theory; Does the Sun Have an Evil Twin?
Many people remain anxious about the threat posed from a hidden nemesis planet, known as Nibiru, that has been prophesied to collide with Earth. Though many of the proposed dates for this collision have come and gone, there is another celestial body that may be more likely to lead to an apocalyptic event: The Nemesis Star.
The Nemesis Star Theory
Binary star systems occur frequently and are actually more common than single stars. At least that’s what we thought, until a recent hypothesis proposed the possibility that every star starts out as a binary pair or multi-pair system. While the theory hasn’t been confirmed, there is significant evidence that our Sun likely has a twin, an evil twin.
The majority of stars in the galaxy are red dwarfs, which are a fifth of the size of the sun and up to 50 times fainter. These types of stars are pretty commonly paired with another star in a binary system, leading astronomers to believe that Nemesis would be the Sun’s red dwarf star companion. But due to the small size and faintness of these stars, they can be hard to find, making Nemesis all the more elusive.
This star is thought to be responsible for 12 cyclical extinction events on Earth, including the one that killed the dinosaurs. The Nemesis Star Theory’s roots can be traced to two paleontologists, David Raup and Jack Sepkoski, who noticed that there was a periodicity to major die-outs throughout Earth’s history, occurring in 26 million year intervals. This led to a number of astrophysicists and astronomers, postulating their own Nemesis Star hypotheses.
So how would the sun’s twin be responsible for mass extinctions? The Nemesis Star Theory proposed the idea that the Earth’s binary twin must be in a large 1.5 light-year orbit, retaining just enough gravitational pull between it and the Sun so as not to drift off. But the issue with the orbit of Nemesis is the possibility that it occasionally passes through a cloud of icy debris on the fringe of our solar system, known as the Oort Cloud.
Don’t Perturb the Oort
The Oort Cloud is a theoretical sphere that is believed to orbit our solar system, consisting of planetesimals, the small icy building blocks of planets, comets, and asteroids. These planetesimals are sticky and collide with each other until they become large enough to have a significant gravitational pull, eventually becoming as large as a moon or a planet. They also create asteroids and comets which can be knocked out of orbit and sent hurtling toward the center of the solar system, crashing into planets.
There is a binary star system that once passed close enough to nearly perturb the Oort, and it was likely visible from Earth. Scholz’s Star made a flyby some 70,000 years ago, at a distance of 50,000 astronomical units (AU), with one AU being the distance from Earth to the Sun. The Oort is thought to extend from anywhere between 5,000 and 100,000 AUs and is believed to contain up to two trillion celestial objects. Astronomers are 95% certain that Shulz’s star passed within half of a light-year of us, possibly perturbing the Oort, though apparently not enough to cause a mass extinction event.
Comets are believed to exist within the Oort and are the product of a thief model, a give-and-take of celestial bodies between stars when they’re formed. In this process, comets get pulled back and forth between the gravitational field of stars. It was for this reason that the Oort was theorized, due to the number of comets coming from it, there had to have been a sibling star that pulled them out to the Oort.
Astronomers also found a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt, a region just before the Oort that also contains icy, celestial bodies. This planet, named Sedna, orbits the Sun in a long, drawn-out elliptical path and is one of potentially hundreds. Sedna may help to explain the Nemesis star theory, in that its far-flung orbit was likely caused by our Sun’s twin, pulling it out as it drifted off into the depths of space. Imagine if instead of 9 planets in our solar system, there were a few hundred?
So where is this Nemesis star? Several years ago, the E.U. launched the wonderfully named, Gaia satellite, to map out the stars in the Milky Way and look specifically at stars that have had a close encounter with our solar system or that might come close in the future. But whether or not Nemesis will be found is unknown; it’s possible that it could make a return for the next mass extinction, or it is possible that it drifted off, perturbing the Oort of another star.