So a few weeks ago I posted an few different articles about how scientist have failed to find any sign of intelligent life in the near cosmos.
While I was a bit skeptical for a variety of reasons about the announcements, they still seemed somewhat depressing. The search was only looking for one particular sign and the whole idea was based on the Kardashev Scale. Which is a theory that advanced civilizations as they grow, will need more and more energy, eventually being able to build massive machines that could harness the energy from their home star, and eventually other stars that would be close by. As I have said before I do not have a problem with the logic of the search or the scale. What bothers me are the conclusions that were drawn from the study. But fret no more.
I am sure almost everyone has seen this article by now and it is quite interesting. So again from the above study the researchers were looking for a star that was dimmer than it should be. The logic was that in searching for this star that was dimmer could mean that a Kardashev Scale II or III civilization could possibly be syphoning off energy through some massive technology, possible a Dyson Sphere. Again the above studies claim they did not find anything, but this new article claims to have found exactly what the other study was looking for.
Scientists say they have found a star that is somewhat dimmer and seems to have something very near to it, which is very fascinating. So let’s take a look at the possible natural phenomena it could be. The researchers first thought was that it could just be a lot of gas and rock or debris, but they have concluded that the star itself is very old. So all the loose debris should have coalesced into some sort of planet by now, much like in our own solar system. The other plausible explanations were that two plants collided recently and left the mass of debris circling the sun. Another, albeit farfetched scenario is that a rouge star came very close to this star, relatively speaking, and pulled some asteroids and other stuff close to the main star. The latter is, at least the article states, somewhat of a long shot explanation.
While I am sure there is may be a perfectly scientific explanation for the debris there is one simple answer that I think we cannot rule out, ALIENS. Insert meme here! So for the sake of argument let’s say that in the next few months and years we can rule out the natural possibilities that could have caused this. At what point to do we start to think this could be some sort of machine purposely put there? I think in the article it did say that they were hoping to point a radio telescope at the star and see if they pick up anything.
I think it is way too soon to jump to conclusions about what is going on with this star, but if at some point we can rule out everything and more or less know for certain that it is artificial that would be absolutely amazing. First it would throw the Kardashev Scale into the mainstream as a legitimate theory on the evolution of civilizations, and their need for massive amounts of energy. Which I think would be pretty crazy. This would bring so many new questions to the forefront. What do they need that much energy for, would be the main question on my mind.
This is something that the Scale does not necessarily go into, it just states that as a civilization grows so does their need for energy. Which if you look at our energy consumption over time as our civilization has become more technologically advanced, that is very accurate. Albeit our population has also grown so even if we were not technologically advanced we will still consume more energy as a whole just based on sheer numbers. If this is a machine, that is a big if, then you have to assume that this civilization has to have some sort of computing device, such as a computer. Following that logic, again what do they need all that power for. Are they running full universe simulations to better understand this one, are they running some other bizarre experiments that requires massive amounts of energy?
Looking at our own civilization, what would we do with that type of power? It is hard to say, but first I assume we would have clean energy for the planet. After that I am not really sure…To me I think that all the theories out there are just shots in the dark, obviously, but if we were to finally be able to nail down just one, I think then we could discern some much more about our universe and potentially the life that inhabits it.
This is quite an interesting find and hope there is much more to this story. I am sure you have seen this somewhere as it has been on almost every major news outlet.