Possible Dyson Sphere? - Astronomers Find Another Dimming Star

Discussion in 'Science, Tech, & Space Exploration' started by nivek, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Astronomers Find Another Dimming Star Possibly Surrounded by Dyson Sphere

    Astronomers in Chile report finding a mysterious star whose light dims by 80 percent on an irregular schedule and they can’t figure out why. An alien Dyson sphere? Dust? Aliens cleaning house and kicking up a dust cloud?

    “We don’t know what the object is. And that’s interesting.”

    Astronomer Roberto Saito of the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil is the co-author of a study in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society describing VVV-WIT-07, “an unique and intriguing variable source presenting a sequence of recurrent dips with a likely deep eclipse in July 2012.” The title of the study implies that this star could be another Boyajian’s star (astronomer Tabby Boyajian discovered the blinking KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby’s star) or a Mamajek’s object (astronomer Eric Mamajek found 1SWASP J140747, a star that dims due to a massive orbiting gas planet with rings). However, the data is inclusive and they speculate whether it could also be a young stellar object, a star surrounded by clumpy dust structure, a main sequence star eclipsed by a nearby extended object or a self-eclipsing R CrB (R Coronae Boreali) variable star.

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    Tabby’s star (NASA)

    Or … it could be a star surrounded by an alien-made Dyson sphere. While hypothetical, the idea of a megastructure surrounding a star and harvesting its energy for space travel, manufacturing or other energy-consuming activities, received a lot of speculative press when Tabby Boyajian discovered her blinker in 2015.

    “I was fascinated by how crazy it looked. Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”

    Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University, was one of the leading proponents of at least considering a Dyson megastructure as a possibility for causing the dimming of Tabby’s star. Each time anything that looks like a blinking star appears, that possibility is brought up, scoffed at by skeptics and pushed by believers, as hypothetical as it might be. However, VVV-WIT-07 is a puzzler, which explains why the WIT in its name stands for “What is this?”

    The puzzle starts with the amount of dimming. While Tabby’s star darkened by 20%, VVV-WIT-07 nearly disappears as it dims by 80%. It also dims more sporadically than KIC 8462852. When asked for her opinion on this blinking star, Boyajian, who openly considered the possibility of a Dyson megastructure, said in ScienceNews:

    “If this phenomenon is the same as what’s happening with Tabby’s star, then we can’t invoke an elaborate explanation for what’s happening in both systems. If you’re starting to see stars similar to this all over the place, then it’s got to be a really common thing that happens in nature. That’s really cool.”

    Not as cool as a Dyson megastructure, right?

    “Pretty much everything’s on the table for it right now. We need more data.”

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    Freeman Dyson, the cause of all the controversy

    Saito promised to provide her with more when he can look at his star again using the larger 8.1-meter Gemini telescope or the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile.

    Dyson? Dust? Damn planet blocking the light? An advanced but bored alien civilization messing with the rest of the universe by playing with a giant dimmer switch?

    “Pretty much everything’s on the table for it right now.”

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  2. Shadowprophet

    Shadowprophet N=R^.fp.ne.f1.fi.fc.L

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    Thank you for posting this, I love the Dyson sphere topics, I remember, Was it a little over a year ago, Or longer when the Kik star with its strange activity was thought to be a possible Dyson sphere?

    It must be said, Chile has been kicking ass lately in the field of astronomy lately, I'd almost think they were ahead of Europe and the U.S If I didn't know better. I think these stories are important, Searching for Dyson spheres is pretty much the only thing astrophysics has that's anything like archeology, In a sense, We dig through space looking for signs of life, And a confirmed Dyson Sphere would be the ultimate artifact we could uncover.

    It's endlessly interesting because no matter how many stars we discover that turn out to not be a Dyson sphere, The Idea is well thought out and there simply must be a few in existence. Keep up the good work posting these astrophysics articles, I can promise you there are those out there that appreciate them, bro. :Thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  3. wwkirk

    wwkirk Noble

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    If it's really a Dyson megastructure, it mustn't be completely enveloping the star. An example of total envelopment was shown in Relics, an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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  4. Shadowprophet

    Shadowprophet N=R^.fp.ne.f1.fi.fc.L

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    I remember that episode, There are several types of Dyson structures, I'm betting this one is a Dyson Swarm, It could also be a spinning Dyson ring. The possibilities are endless, I just hope it doesn't turn out to be a swarm of asteroids or some sort of gas again.
     
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