There is a chance that the search for real life aliens may be reaching its final phase. Between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra, astronomers have found an array of objects orbiting a star called KIC 8462852 that they say could possibly be enormous alien artefacts. Or comets. But strangely, the idea of real life aliens isn’t just some distant possibility voiced in an effort to grab attention – the highly reputable scientists involved are giving the aliens theory very serious consideration.
For four long years, the Kepler Space Telescope stared at over 150,000 stars, recording the minuscule interruptions in light that are caused by everything from orbiting planets and moons to passing comets. This process generated so much data that it was impossible to analyse it automatically using algorithms, so the Kepler Space Telescope astronomers decided to crowdsource the analysis. They created an organization called Planet Hunters and invited citizen astronomers to help out by looking for patterns in the light source interruptions recorded by the Kepler Space Telescope. Why patterns? Well, if a pattern emerges in the light source interruptions, it can safely be assumed that there is an object passing between the star and the Kepler Space Telescope at regular intervals. And what this means is that the object is very likely to be in orbit. Like a planet.
“Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider.”
The thing is, though, that after all their tests and analysis, only two scenarios fit the data pattern that the Kepler Space Telescope has recorded. One is that another star passed near the star in question and dragged an armada of comets into its orbit. This would be a very rare and (no pun) astronomically coincidental event, however, and the other possibility is, in some ways, just as unlikely. It’s aliens. Real life aliens. Wrights comments about the possibilities are as amazing as they are unlikely.
“It looked like the kind of think you might expect an alien civilization to build.”
Both Wright and Yale post doctorate Tabetha Boyajian think that there is a real possibility that what they are looking at is alien megastructures orbiting the star. They further posit that they might be some kind of energy collection array, in line with SETI’s contention that one of the ways that we might find real life aliens would be by their artefacts, rather like our own constellations of man-made satellites.
What do you think? Have we finally found real life aliens?
[Picture via Getty Images/Pool]