SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, released its first findings for the so-called “alien megastructure” around a distant star.
A few weeks ago, there were reports saying a scientist at Pennsylvania State University suggested to The Atlantic that a huge dip seen from the star system, KIC 8462852, 1,400 light-years away, could be of artificial origin. People then speculated that it was a huge structure made by aliens, such as a Dyson sphere, which are vast theoretical structures that could possibly gather power from stars. As a result, the term “alien megastructure” was thrown around in the media, prompting SETI to investigate with its vast Allen Telescope Array in Northern California.
SETI directed the array at the star for two weeks, looking for narrow-band signals that aliens might use. However, their findings indicate that no alien civilization was detected in the telescope array.
— io9 (@io9) November 6, 2015
“The history of astronomy tells us that every time we thought we had found a phenomenon due to the activities of extraterrestrials, we were wrong,” Seth Shostak, who is the director at the Center for SETI Research, wrote in a statement.
He added. “But although it’s quite likely that this star’s strange behavior is due to nature, not aliens, it’s only prudent to check such things out.”
Shostak said that in every instance astronomers thought they found extraterrestrial activity, they were proven incorrect.
— Dr. Bill Miller (@BillMillerMD) October 26, 2015
Further surveys will continue, he added, but people should not get too excited.
“The history of astronomy tells us that every time we thought we had found a phenomenon due to the activities of extraterrestrials, we were wrong,” he said. “But although it’s quite likely that this star’s strange behavior is due to nature, not aliens, it’s only prudent to check such things out.”
He added that any society, or aliens, with the ability to build a Dyson swarm would have “access to energy at a level approaching 1027 watts.”