Saturday, October 17, 2015

fascination with feverish fanboy foolishness


theatlantic |  A variety of theories from our readers about the nature of the mysterious star named KIC 8462852. Is its energy being harnessed by an alien civilization? 

A bunch of your emails have come in regarding this popular note based on Ross’s fascinating look at the mysterious star named KIC 8462852. A reader writes:
Just a sci-fi-ish suggestion: If the object(s) around that star are indeed a Dyson “swarm,” or perhaps a partially complete (and thus perhaps still-under-construction) Dyson sphere, then such an object or objects that could block out a star’s light more completely might be one possible explanation, or at least partial explanation, for the so-called “dark matter” of theoretical physics. Such an hypothesis would neatly explain why dark matter has the gravitational effects observed on our galaxy and others yet there does not appear to be any to be found in our own solar system. Needless to say it would also have implications for the incidence and location of advanced alien civilisations.
Another reader’s theory:
Perhaps it is not so much a power-collection structure but a means to signal other intelligent life. Did anyone look for patterns in the blocking of light? Variations in luminosity? Binary in light vs no light?  If it is another civilization, then they would be aware of its visibility to other life with a certain tech level.
A less exciting theory: “It also could be nothing but pollution, like humans are polluting the Earth’s orbit with debris right now.” Another reader:
I had another theory I was surprised no other sci-fi nerd seemed to touch upon.