The universe is an amazing place. It contains gas clouds, asteroids, moons, planets, stars, and black holes among other fascinating things. In fact, the universe we inhabit is huge! So much so that we can’t even begin to imagine the actual size of it. Even our home galaxy, the Milky Way, spreads one hundred thousand light-years across, which means even if you were to hypothetically travel at the speed of light (299 792 458 m/s), it would still take you 100,000 years to go from one end to the other!
In this mysterious place, in the year 2015 NASA announced an interesting piece of news regarding a star that could have an alien civilization orbiting it. It is this very star that is known to the world as the “Tabby’s Star”. It is located in the constellation of Cygnus, approximately 1470 light-years away from Earth. The discovery of this star was led by an American astronomer by the name of Dr. Tabetha “Tabby” Suzanne Boyajian. The star was thus, named after Dr. Tabetha Boyajian.
This star is a G-type star, which means it is a main-sequence star just like our sun, but ½ times bigger than our sun. Now, while this star sits far away from our solar system, the interesting fact that surrounds it is that NASA scientists believed this star could potentially be home to an advanced alien civilization. They made this stunning assumption when they observed some unclear mysterious objects surrounding the orbit of the star back in 2015. Intriguing, isn’t it? Let’s dive a bit deeper!
In the year 2010, NASA launched a new project which allowed volunteers to join and assist NASA scientists to discover Exoplanets that lay outside our solar system. An exoplanet or extrasolar planet, for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term, is a planet that exists outside our Solar System. Nearly 300,000 volunteers in the USA joined the project. Their mission was to observe the stars and the planets in the habitable zone. One of these teams was led by Dr. Tabetha, they discovered the Tabby’s Star has been dimming and brightening in strange and unpredictable ways over time. In one instance, the star’s total luminosity decreased by 22%! The scientists say that incident was really mysterious. To decrease a star’s luminosity by 22%, a plausible explanation would be that there must be a giant object orbiting the star. According to Dr. Tabetha however, if a mass of planets were involved, there would have to be more than 50 of them, perfectly aligned and “marching” in front of the star to create such a dip. Some scientists and researchers guessed it might be an alien megastructure blocking the star. Now with this “alien megastructure” topic fresh in your mind, there are some more interesting facts that you should know.
The most recognized method of measuring to explain alien civilizations is “The Kardashev Scale”, introduced by Russian astrophysicist Dr. Nikolai Kardashev. He proposed there can be three types of alien civilizations existing in the universe. The method has been briefly explained below.
- Type one: These civilizations are capable of controlling the entire energy of its planet.
- Type two: These civilizations are capable of controlling the entire energy of its host star and capable of traveling through their solar system.
- Type three: These civilizations are capable of controlling the energy of its entire galaxy and capable of traveling through their galaxy.
Dr. Tabetha cites in case there is in fact an alien civilization orbiting the Tabby’s star, it must be a type two civilization if one were to observe it using the Kardashev scale. It is because if they are a type one civilization, they can’t build a massive megastructure, a Dyson sphere, a structure capable of covering up an entire star. A “Dyson sphere” is a hypothetical megastructure that completely encompasses a star and possesses the ability to capture a large percentage of its energy output. This concept was proposed by British Mathematician “Freeman Dyson” in the 1960s.
If they happen to be a type three civilization, then they have already invaded us. Thus, as Dr. Tabetha correctly points out, the only logical and feasible assumption would be that if an alien civilization does exist, it would be a type two civilization. However, an important fact to keep in mind is that all these are scientific assumptions. Nothing has been proven as of yet. The most common assumption is that there must be a giant gas cloud orbiting Tabby’s star. This is because NASA scientists believe that there can’t be a planet that is that huge enough to decrease a star’s luminosity by 22%. As most of us already know, stars are created by giant gas clouds. So it is a very natural occurrence that a star can be orbited by a big gas cloud. But the problem is that this mysterious object often moves in front of the star at a slightly high speed. The scenario was recorded in the NASA telescopes, when the team of Dr. Tabetha analyzed this phenomenon, they came to a conclusion that this mysterious object is most definitely not normal and something out of the ordinary. To this day, they still wonder what this mysterious object might be? Is it a giant planet, gas cloud, or an alien megastructure orbiting this now-infamous star. The mystery of the Tabby’s star will continue to exist until a credible and reliable conclusion is found.
– Rtr Yohan Soyza
Hungry for more information? See here to learn more about Tabby’s Star;
Tabby’s star: The mystery of the alien megastructure has been solved? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay8_KQtu0Iw.
The most interesting star in the universe | boyajian’s (tabby’s) star | unveiled. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f8VY663_UM.