|Pictured: a goddamn ringworld.|
|Ah, yes, I see...|
(note: no I don't)
Ok, so the paper doesn't mention aliens anywhere. It's just math, thirteen pages of complicated math.
"The STFT is presented in Figure 3. This shows that the 0.88 day signal is present in most of the Kepler time series, with the strongest presence occurring around the day 1200."
-Tabatha Boyajian, blinding us with science
|Pictured: astronomers out having a |
good time while we're all home pouring
over the Kepler's data like chumps.
|"Non-natural explanations...like, |
<cough> aliens <cough>..."
|Should be the last hypothesis,|
but what the hell right? Aliens!
"Aliens should be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looks like something you would expect an alien civilization to build."
-Jason Wright, Penn State,
totally considering the alien
hypothesis, like first thing
|Non-natural signals, prime numbers, the|
light jazz and soft, comforting tones of
public radio hosts. That sort of thing.
I'm not sure we can expect aliens do do anything, that's why they're aliens, but the idea is that mega-structures (mega being derived from the Latin for 'big' and structures meaning 'things') like a Dyson sphere (sort of a swarm of solar collectors), or my personal favorite theory, the aforementioned goddamn ring world, might cause the weird patterns we're seeing. Boyajian and some of her colleagues want to point some radio telescopes at KIC8462852 next in the hopes that, we can pick up some kind of signal consistent with an advanced, technological civilization.
|Above: so this, but on a scale at which|
our entire civilization could disappear and
a new one rises before we get a response.
Of course at that distance the light we're seeing is from the sixth century, so these aliens were building orbital structures capable of blotting out their sun at a time when humans were busy kicking off the middles ages. Even if we could communicate with them, we'd be a planet full of snarling savages by comparison, what could we possibly have to talk about? Faster-than light travel? Game of Thrones? I suspect more separates us from whatever beings might inhabit KIC8462852 than just a few light years.