Opinions requested.

Discussion in 'Science' started by tecoyah, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    Back in October of 2015, astronomers shook the world when they reported how the Kepler mission had noticed a strange and sudden drop in brightness coming from KIC 8462852 (aka. Tabby's Star). This was followed by additional studies that showed how the star appeared to be consistently dimming over time. All of this led to a flurry of speculation, with possibilities ranging from large asteroids and a debris disc to an alien megastructure.
    I would like the lay persons view of this as I have found unique and individualized opinion often lead to speculation that create new hypothesis and theory. Any help in this would be appreciated.
     
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  2. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    I watched the TED talk on this star and it was fascinating. I highly recommend it.

    While the potential for an alien megastructure akin to a Dyson Sphere in progress is fascinating speculation and entirely possible in our universe my own uninformed hypothesis is nothing so grand.

    Instead it is something more prosaic but still involves an alien intelligence.

    Since habitable planets in our own solar system are in short supply there is no reason why we could not build our own "planetoids". We could start small by bringing an asteroid into the goldilocks zone and build a self sustaining habitation for ourselves. Then using the materials excavated from the first we go one and build another and another. Given sufficient time we will have a swarm of these habitable planetoids orbiting the Sun.

    What would this look like to an alien species viewing our sun? I suspect that it would be similar to what we are seeing at Tabby's star. The cluster of planetoids would block out the sun in an irregular pattern since we would have figured out that we could improve food growth with shorter/longer years and we would adjust the orbits according to whatever plant(s) we are growing in that habitat that would give us optimized crop yields.

    From afar it would look random because there would be no way to distinguish what exactly was obscuring the light at any point in time.
     
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  3. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Well-Known Member

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    As opposed to the opinions of experts. Of course.
     
  4. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    That this is not obvious to you certainly says volumes.
     
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  5. William Rea

    William Rea Well-Known Member

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    It's the tooth fairy polishing her sixpence and catching the light of a local sun in it.
     
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  6. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The star is dying and we're going to get a new type of star death added to the books, to give us grief, any day now. Since it's like our sun it's really going to make us worry.
     
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  7. iamanonman

    iamanonman Well-Known Member

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    A Dyson sphere is the least likely explanation. I think dust clouds or unusually dense and randomly dispersed asteroid fields may be the best guess.
     
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