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DrasticDreamer's avatar

Is anyone else as stupidly excited as I am about the unusual star that was flagged?

Asked by DrasticDreamer (23991points) October 18th, 2015

Multiple “citizen scientists” flagged a sun (via the Planet Hunters Project) when they noticed unusual behavior coming from it. It turns out that the behavior is so unusual that no one can really explain what the heck is going on or why it might be happening. Most theories have been ruled out, but there are a couple that still remain, and an at least somewhat serious theory has been possible alien technology – though it’s always the last theory to be looked at and for good reason.

Full article, and worth the read, can be found here.

What are your thoughts? I, of course, am hoping that aliens are harvesting solar energy, or that it’s even some kind of space station. Let me have my wild dreams, because I’m very happy to dream them. :P

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29 Answers

cazzie's avatar

I heard about this on Friday during my science group meeting. Pretty dang cool discovery, what ever it turns out to be. Last line of the article bothered me though. ‘Days’ in that context don’t work because they are Earth -centric.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@cazzie It’s so cool! Haha! :) I can’t wait for January, since I believe that’s when they said they’re going to start listening for unusual radio waves! XD

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Oh, and @Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One I believe you meant it probably isn’t aliens. :P

LuckyGuy's avatar

That is so interesting. The article mentioned that Keppler has been looking at 150,000 stars and this one is different. What if there were several large planets orbiting in multiple stable orbital planes – similar to the Iridium satellite constellation?
The proof will be in the data. I can’t wait!

filmfann's avatar

The theory that this is caused by a Dyson Sphere makes me laugh. Not even alien technology could construct such a thing. It is as close to impossible as anything can be, without actually being impossible.

ragingloli's avatar

@filmfann
as impossible as flying to mars was to an ancient goat herder.

Bill1939's avatar

I look forward to more information being acquired about this very interesting observation.

philosopher's avatar

This is fascinating.

rojo's avatar

@filmfann but we own one! It looks like This

stanleybmanly's avatar

I too read the bulletin from Scientific American. Frankly, I think the chances of the anomalies being the result of some engineered megastructures are about as good as mine at being named MVP in the upcoming World Series.

majorrich's avatar

I think we have found evidence of Ring World as written by Larry Niven. A pretty good series of Scifi I read years ago.

ragingloli's avatar

The biggest objection against Dyson spheres/shells is, that a civilisation that is capable of constructing one, would not actually need to.
A Dyson sphere/shell requires more matter than would actually exist in the solar system where it is supposed to be built, which means that the matter of other solar systems would have to be harvested in order to construct the sphere.
In that case, the civilisation in question would have to already have mastered interstellar travel to such an extent, that entire planets can be transported over several light years in a short time span, which has energy requirements far surpassing the energy output of the star they want to milk.
In short, a civilisation capable of building a Dyson sphere to harvest a star’s energy, is already capable of producing energy in amounts that surpasses the star’s energy output by several magnitudes, making the Dyson sphere completely pointless.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

If this hadn’t come from such a good source, I would have just blown past it. Thanks for bringing this to light to this hick out here in the hinterlands. I’ve downloaded Boyajian’s paper PDF to learn more and I’m lurking on the Planet Hunters site and scanning their many other projects. This is amazing stuff.

January can’t come soon enough.

zenvelo's avatar

Wow, a whole concept of an interplanetary sphere based on the design of a vacuum cleaner.

Coloma's avatar

Wow….this is the first I have heard, super cool!
I’m in a hurry right now but will read up more later today. Thanks for the heads up!

majorrich's avatar

In addition to the excellent points @ragingloli makes, a Dyson Sphere would not be visible because the shell captures all the sun’s energy and blocks it from escaping; making the inhabitants very stealthy indeed. The big fault in the Dyson argument is in the engineering required to cool the surface and allow for escape of solar radiation which would be cumulative. That is the argument for the Ring solution albeit less efficient than the sphere, it solves some of these problems. That is, unless the sun is synthetic and able to be controlled to provide just enough energy to maintain the system balance. I’ve not thought about that in a very long time. Thanks for reminding me of these books!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I think it needs to be pointed out nobody associated with the article suggested this is a Dyson Sphere. They simply called it a mega structure.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Yeah, I think a lot of people are automatically assuming that’s what it would be, but really, who knows. :)

I love getting excited about the possibility of intelligent life, even though I know I’m likely to be let down. I’m enjoying the small things lately that would have gotten me really excited as a kid.

Maybe it’s my Zoloft… haha! :D

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Yes, there may very well one day be a natural explanation for this star’s bizarre behavior. Until then, dream!

When was the last time you talked to your doctor about your dose of Zoloft?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake No worries, I was just being silly. I just had a follow-up for my thyroid meds and the Zoloft last Wednesday. :)

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@DrasticDreamer I’m being silly, too. That reminds me to talk to my doctor…

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

@DrasticDreamer I meant what I typed. That’s how certain I am. You’d have to be a @DrasticDreamer to think it was aliens.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One They probably exist, simply because it is such a huge universe. The chances of coming across other intelligent life are slim for the very same reason, but it’s still very much possible.

cazzie's avatar

Aliens are a fun thought, however unlikely it may be. ( but he doesn’t call himself The Fun One, does he.) ;)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here is a nice article in Scientific American about it.
They said the Computer algorithm would not have found this star. Citizen scientists flagged it.

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