To Find Alien Megastructures And Advanced Extraterrestrial Civilizations, Look To Pulsars

Norman Byrd

A Georgia scientist believes he has figured out how to detect alien civilizations -- especially advanced civilizations with the capability of building massive energy-absorbing megastructures around stellar objects. In fact, he says that current technology would suffice in searching out nearby (relatively speaking) stellar bodies for these alien megastructures. Still, the search would not be for artificial constructs around regular stars, but pulsars.

Astronomy professor Zaza Osmanov of the Free University of Tbilisi published a paper last year, according to the Daily Mail, wherein he posited that alien megastructures such as the one hypothesized to exist around the mysterious star KIC 8462852, or Tabby's Star, might not be constructed in spherical forms (Dyson spheres) but are more likely to exist as Dyson rings. And they would be built around pulsars, not stars.

The movement, or rotation, of the ring with relation to the host star could account for the odd dimming and brightening exhibited by the star over the years, Osmanov argued. And since such structures would likely be built out to roughly an astronomical unit (AU, the distance from the Sun to the Earth) from the host object if the object were a star, it would place the ring in the star's habitable zone. Osmanov estimated that pulsars would host habitable zones at roughly 0.1 AU.

In a follow-up paper, Prof. Osmanov now suggests that the alien megastructure rings should be easily spotted with the use of modern technology. And they should be detectable by their infrared signatures. According to, Osmanov also calculated at what distances the alien megastructures could be detected.

He believes that the number of potential candidate pulsars within the calculated distance (observable space) to be 64.

"We have argued that by monitoring the nearby zone of the solar system approximately 64 pulsars are expected to be located inside it."

Osmanov's ideas have offered a possible path to the discovery of extraterrestrial life, not to mention the possibility that said aliens just might be from a super-advanced civilization. (To have the capability to build such a massive artificial structure, the alien civilization would place as a Level II civilization on the Kardashev Scale. By comparison, humanity barely registers on the scale, having not even learned as yet to harness the resources of our home world.) However, the astronomer also cautions that such an advanced civilization would have the capability of destroying mankind should they so choose to do.

In other news concerning possible alien megastructures, a detected dimming of Tabby's star has prompted a "call to action" by scientists this week to direct telescopes toward star KIC 8462852. As was reported by the Inquisitr, it is doubtful that the answer to the odd dimming mystery will occur over a weekend's observations, but it is hoped that the data gathered by a number of telescopes from around the world might point to a solution as to why Tabby's Star has dimmed as much as 20 percent.

Astronomer Jason Wright of Penn State University first alerted the scientific community of the most recent dip in brightness of the star after noticing that KIC 8462852 had dimmed two percent. Within 24 hours, the findings had been corroborated and the dimming was found to be three percent.

First detected in 2015 by Tabetha Boyajian, the astronomer from whom the star gets its nickname, several hypotheses have been offered -- from periodic comet swarms to alien megastructures to an occluding field of comets or interstellar space junk located in interstellar space -- to explain the dimming process.

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