Astronomers named the star, which will be looking for an extraterrestrial civilization
The irregular flickering of KIC 8462852, distant from Earth by one and a half thousand light years, suggests that its brilliance is eclipsed by some kind of “alien mega-design” in its orbit, possibly a huge array of solar cells.
Scientists have long noticed this object and would like to study it more carefully.
Now it became possible thanks to the Breakthrough Listen project. It was founded in 2015 by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, who allocated funding in the amount of 100 million US dollars.
Under this program, it was planned to use a significant part of the operating time of the telescopes Green Bank and Parkes Observatory.
Now it has become known that the search for alien activity will be carried out precisely with the help of the largest parabolic radio telescope, Green Bank, located in the United States.
Note that today radio telescopes are one of the most common tools for the search for extraterrestrial civilizations.
Previously, scientists used to observe the star KIC 8462852 Hubble telescope and the Keck Observatory, but they did not help to identify any unusual signals emanating from the star.
As Dr. Andrew Siemion, one of the leaders of the Breakthrough Listen project, explained: “The Green Bank telescope is the largest rotary radio telescope in the world, and also the most sensitive, capable of tracking a star in view of the change of its position in the sky.”
“The Breakthrough Listen program has the most powerful alien search equipment on the planet and access to the world's largest telescopes. We can study the luminary with greater sensitivity and catch a wider range of signals than any other experiment in the world, ”adds Simion.
Scientists first noticed Tabbi (named after the leader of the team of discoverers - Tabetha Boyajian from the University of Louisiana in the USA) in 2015.
Then astronomers were looking for exoplanets orbiting other stars. Let us clarify that the worlds usually overshadow the light of the parent star for a short time and the amount of radiation reaching the Earth only decreases by 1–2%.However, the dips in the luminosity of KIC 8462852 lasted for days, sometimes up to 22% of the light was not enough, and, moreover, the intervals between them were irregular.
Note that not only giant mega structures can overshadow the light of KIC 8462852. One possible explanation: the accumulation of asteroids or comet fragments (although some simulations do not confirm this scenario).
Nevertheless, scientists will try to study this light.