Scientists say a bizarre giant star 1,500 light years from earth could be surrounded by an incredible alien megastructure.
Researchers who were monitoring data from the Kepler Space Telescope found the star, KIC 8462852, to be emitting unusual light patterns due to a swarm of mysterious objects around it.
These strange patterns have led experts to suggest they could be resulting from technology designed to draw energy away from the star – a kind of megastructure created by “an alien civilisation”.
“Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilisation to build,” astronomer Jason Wright from Penn State University said.
Tabetha Boyajian, who is a postdoc at Yale and oversees the crowd-sourced Planet Hunters project, which asks “citizen scientists” to analyse data from Kepler’s stars from their homes, told The Atlantic: “We’d never seen anything like this star.
“It was really weird.
“We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.”
KIC 8462852 has been studied since 2009 and is located 1,480 light years from Earth.
In a recent report, Boyajian ruled out many natural explanations for the series of mysterious objects.
Both Wright and Boyajian have since teamed up with Andrew Siemion, Director of the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Research Center to look further into the possibility of alien influence.
The trio are proposing to point a radio dish at KIC 8462852 in order to see if radio wavelengths display any sign of technological activity.