High-tech telescopes have been observing the unusual star KIC8462852, and they seem to unravel the theory quickly that this star could harbor an advanced alien civilization. The search is just a start of a much bigger experiment for a team at the new organization called SETI International led by Doug Vakoch. The new group should not be confused with the SETI Institute.
Earlier in 2015, Penn State astronomer Jason Wright and Yale postdoctoral graduate student Tabby Boyajian discovered an unusual and perplexing massive structure orbiting star KIC8462852, located 1,500 light years from Earth. It was the first time they saw that kind of thing.
Wright suggested that the massive structure could be a Dyson swarm, a still-in-progress variant of a hypothetical machine called Dyson sphere that an advanced alien civilization would build around a star to collect unimaginable amounts of solar energy.
Vakoch and SETI International scientists got very excited on the implication that an advanced civilization could be building such structure.
The team pointed a small Panamanian telescope at their Boquete Optical SETI Observatory toward the mysterious star for six nights between October 29 and November 28.
Vakoch and his team of scientists were observing the distant stellar system for laser pulses that any potential advanced civilizations might be sending to Earth.
Three out of those same six nights, they also pointed the California-based Allan Telescope Array toward similar star to listen any radio signals.
As of the moment, the team could not find anything to verify the theory about intelligent aliens living in there. Either these aliens stay quiet, or there are no aliens at all.
The team could not also rule out the possibility that the massive, strange objects orbiting this star are comets that were transported from another star. The team has submitted their results for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Despite the fact that the team did not find anything, Vakoch, the SETI International president, said he did not consider it as a failure. He explained that it was an entirely different process of looking for signals from KIC8462852 than the usual type of searchers that they do.
Vakoch said that they had established a new system for hunting aliens by coordinating observations from both the Allan Telescope Array and the telescope in Panama.
Vakoch is confident that we have observatories around the world to look into a transient signal that will be detected in the future.
Vakoch hopes to apply their new approach of searching towards other stars with planets and hopes that one or more of those systems will be sending a signal to Earth.