Stephen Hawking leads ‘alien megastructure’ probe

Famous Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking is leading a team of scientists investigating a possible ‘alien megastructure’ orbiting a distant star.

Prof Hawking is spearheading an £81million project to find out whether aliens are responsible for the mysterious behaviour of a star called KIC8462852, or Tabby’s Star.

Tabby’s Star can be seen dimming in regular cycles which some analysts say is a sign of a Dyson Sphere – a hypothetical structure which could be used by an alien race to harness energy.

Jason Wright of Penn State University said the signals looked like something “an alien civilisation could build”.

He said: “I can’t figure this thing out and that’s why it’s so interesting, so cool – it just doesn’t seem to make sense.”

Now scientists at the University of California are planning to use a huge telescope to examine the object – which is located more than 1,400 light years from Earth – more closely over the next decade.

Although the star has been examined with Hubble and other powerful instruments, researchers plan to use new technologies to observe it over a period of three nights.

Scientists fear the planet could be hijacked by an alien race for power
Scientists fear the planet could be hijacked by an alien race for power

The object will be examined more closely than ever before generating a huge amount of data by a team of SETI scientists – which stands for the ‘search for extra terrestrial intelligence’.

Research director Andrew Siemion said: “Everyone, every SETI program telescope, I mean every astronomer that has any kind of telescope in any wavelength that can see Tabby’s star has looked at it.

The multi-million pound project is backed by Stephen Hawking
The multi-million pound project is backed by Stephen Hawking

“It’s been looked at with Hubble, it’s been looked at with Keck, it’s been looked at in the infrared and radio and high energy, and every possible thing you can imagine, including a whole range of SETI experiments. Nothing has been found.

“The Breakthrough Listen program has the most powerful SETI equipment on the planet, and access to the largest telescopes on the planet.

“We can look at it with greater sensitivity and for a wider range of signal types than any other experiment in the world.”

Source: Stephen Hawking leads ‘alien megastructure’ probe


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s