Despite multiple screenings of the seminal 90's classic, Independence Day, when it comes to the prospect of extraterrestrial life, I am of the opinion that it's more terrifying that we haven't found any aliens, and we've been left totally alone in this vast, bleak, universe.
That's why I'm very pleased to hear of the recent discovery by the Kepler Space Telescope, and you should be, too. The mega-powerful NASA telescope recently found unusual activity orbiting a star located between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra (two of my favorites) that's so irregular, some experts are claiming it could be veritable signs of alien life.
Penn State University astronomer Jason Wright told the Atlantic, "This looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build," and that the swarm of "megastructures," as he referred to them, could be the result of E.T's harvesting energy from the surrounding stars.
Kepler has been observing the areas between the constellations since 2009, with an intense focus on the star KIC 8462852 that's been emitting light that has baffled scientists since its discovery. “It was kind of unbelievable that it was real data,” Yale University astronomer Tabetha Boyajian told New Scientist “We were scratching our heads. For any idea that came up there was always something that would argue against it.”
The star in question was discovered by a crowdsourced astronomy program launched by Yale, Planet Hunters, and has been gaining attention for its unusual light patterns -- dipping, increasing, and curving unlike anything previously discovered -- leading to an even more intense focus. The features around the star are so exceptional, the fantastical prospect of alien life has been legitimately considered. “When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” Wright told The Atlantic. “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”
So, in essence, nothing is set in stone, and despite the possible conclusions put forth by scientists, the promise of life is still an astronomical (see what I did there?) long-shot. But, I for one welcome our new alien overlords, should they be reading this transmission out on the star KIC 8462852. Anything would be better than space crabs.
Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Thrillist. If space crabs are listening, too -- I was just kidding. Follow him @wilfulton
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