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Did we just discover a Type II Alien Civilization? (not popsci or science fiction)

in news •  2 years ago

According to Gizmodo, the "alien mega-structure" discovered last year might have more scientific support than initially thought.

For those of us who like to read actual science papers instead of popsci, here is the preprint on arxiv

Summary: Over the course of the last 100 years, the total output of Tabby's Star has dipped by 20% and this appears to be accelerating. Over the course of a 4 year study by the Kepler mission, the star's output continued to decline and the last 200 days it declined by 2.5%

This is not inconsistent with the idea of a Type II Civilization building a Dyson Swarm

What do you think? Do we have evidence of an alien civilization, or are there better explanations?

update: @justtryme90 and myself have reached out on social media to invite Ms. Boyajian to stop by and comment, here's hoping she accepts!

update2: In case Ms. Boyajian has in fact found evidence of a Type II civilization, our resident artist @klye has created this footnote...

25% of all SBD earned on this will go to @Klye for his artwork and if Ms. Boyajian happens to pop by, 50% of this post will go to her as well

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Nice art you got there! :D Official #klyeart !!!

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@klye Yes I agree. Anyone that's interested, @klye does really great, unique art and has super fast turn around times!

We may very well have. There arent anyways to explain whats going on with that star really. Time and more observation will make things more clear.

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@justtryme90 Very true. Tabby just ran a crowd funding campaign to get more telescope time. I'm wondering if there is any way we could invite her here somehow. I'd upvote and tip on that.

While this isn't exactly perfect evidence. It is definitely exciting stuff!

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Fully agree, would be really cool to get the perspective of someone who knows all the minutiae of the data. Honestly if she has a university e-mail address, just sending her an e-mail and asking her to make a post here would probably bring her. In general we scientists don't have many fans haha so when people want to hear you talk a bit its a pretty big honor.

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@justtryme90 I would love to reach out and invite her, but I've been searching and her email is hidden. Probably require someone with contacts at Yale to reach out and tap her on the shoulder.
The star appears to have it's own home page though!

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I will tweet this article at her. See if she is interested.

Done: https://twitter.com/VTCWhale/status/761793832434360320

I could also e-mail her, but I do not personally know her so I don't want to piss her off.

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VTCWhale JustTryMe, Ph.D. tweeted @ 06 Aug 2016 - 05:19 UTC

@tsboyajian Hello, your work is garnering interest on the social media site Steemit.

steemit.com/news/@williamb... / https://t.co/RrmIGVrZj9

Consider making a post?

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.
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Come to my blog .There you will find many interesting things about Bitcoin and not only https://steemit.com/@konstplus

I believe thre are alien civilizations. Our galaxy alone consists of a hundred billion stars...

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@darthnava The heck is up with your rep? I had to dig to find your post. Good insight!

@all If any whales happens to drop by?
Would you mind giving @darthnava a little upvote love please? -6 for any human is bit harsh at this stage in the game.

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Please help me..I do not understand why do I have a low rep. It is devastating....

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@darthnava You should hop in steemit.chat and see if you can flag down a whale to give you a bump. Most likely you just had someone disagree with you back before the rep system went into effect and it carried over.

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In know what you mean, I'm in the same boat.

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I put a reply on your most recent post to try and help out where I can.

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@sykochica That was really nice of you. Thanks for helping someone and here have my upvote!

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I dont know this is conclusive proof, but the numbers do support that there is other life out there. Given thats not such a far fetched idea anymore....who knows, suppose its definitely inside the realm of possibility.

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@jayceace23 I tend to agree. Furthermore I still can't get other the idea that opaque material is increasing in surface area. My napkin math shows if this was debris it would need to be a Jupiter sized rocky planet and it would need to be beings smashed to bits.

I'm willing to accept any answer, that makes more sense. I was totally convinced by the interstellar gas cloud argument. But this, I dunno I guess it just feels compelling. I sure hope the paper's authors stop by and either set me straight or give a wink and a nob to this theory.

I mean really, you get to name a star anything you want if you discover it. She chooses to name it "WTF". That's just cool!

VTCWhale JustTryMe, Ph.D. tweeted @ 06 Aug 2016 - 05:19 UTC

@tsboyajian Hello, your work is garnering interest on the social media site Steemit.

steemit.com/news/@williamb... / https://t.co/RrmIGVrZj9

Consider making a post?

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.

There's a very small chance that it is alien activity, but really, Occam's razor suggests it's cosmic activity. For one, if it were a Dyson Swarm, the light will dip in consistent and predictable fashion.

Still, makes for a nice story :)

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@liberosist While I generally agree, if the civilization was in the process of building the swarm then it might look like this. The other important thing and this is why I linked the pre-print. A previous paper had essentially destroyed the whole idea that it was activity local to that system. Saying it was more likely to be an interstellar gas cloud.

What this paper does is provide much more support for a system local phenomena.

Now, I'm not going to rule out a cometary fragmentation event. But why would the total light be decreasing so much, one would normally expect that to rise and dip as it orbited, but overall it would remain within a range proportional to it's surface area.
This means something is increasing the surface area, i.e. breaking something up and also if that were just a comet...
HOLY CRAP that would be a huge freaking comet!

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I'm going to read the paper this weekend, but if it were under construction, it would still be consistent. Unless they are permanently tripping... :) This one is too erratic. I'm sure we'll get down to the bottom of this soon enough.

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@liberosist Cool I hope to hear your thoughts. To be clear, the paper doesn't chalk this up to a civilization. They say opaque material is all. One thing is for certain, something really strange is going on with this star.

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True, it's unusual. But the universe is vast, and I'm sure there are many undiscovered phenomena.

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Dont get me wrong, I would be more inclined to think it's cosmic than alien, however, just to play advocate (and I really want to believe) have you ever seen a road project go CONSISTENTLY? I mean c'mon, there's gonna be delays, then some days everyone works real hard, ya know, maybe they had to wait on a delayed shipment of carbon nanotubes. Maybe they just worked through a tough strike with the labor union and then everyone gets back to work, increasing productivity...

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@quantumanomaly Excellent points! I would actually buy that book if you wrote it!

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That is still pretty consistent as a long term trend. You don't build a 100 mile road to have 95 miles disappear one day and reappear the next.

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Uh yeah, I can't come to work today. Yes, my kid caught the grey goo at preschool.

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@jeeves We really need to work on your idea of related content buddy :)
@jeeves What other functions do you have?

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Hahahaha, we are deploying a ML part of it soon!

I'm not seeing the evidence as conclusive. Why would people put opaque objects around their sun? I could understand it being around their planet. I just need more conclusive evidence before I will assume intelligent civilization.

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@casandrarose You should read the links. There are explanatory links for everything.
A Type I civilization is one where they have learned to harness the resources of the entire planet. A Type II means they have learned to harness the resources of the entire solar system.

This is certainly one of those cases where we'll learn more about the implications as more time and analysis occurs. Fun to think about!

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I totally agree. Whether it's a Type II civilization, or a huge planetary impact event, or a fingerprint on the lens. News like this makes it an exciting time to be alive!

@williambanks have you seen the new StarTrek?

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@jasonmcz The movies or the TV series that's supposedly coming?

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The new movie with Simon Pegg and Chris Pine.

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@jasonmcz Ok so your comment brought to my attention that there was a new Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond. Last one I had watched was "Into Darkness".
Guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend. Thanks!

I think more likely that it's a phenomenon physicists haven't observed before. I think another explanation should be forthcoming.