If you’re a fan of the alien megastructures and Tabby’s Star, you might also want to check out the scientific theory that says aliens are mining that star, and how the star turns out to be weirder than they first thought.
A mainstream astrobiologist writing in a mainstream publication has gone on record about the alien megastructure. His take? It might really be there.
Scientist David Grinspoon has come out of the
closet to say that an alien megastructure might
be responsible for a strange space anomaly
Dr. David Grinspoon, a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, has taken a public position that’s a polar opposite to conventional wisdom since the discovery of the weird light fluctuation around star KIC 8462852 (“Tabby’s Star”). The science world has been in a tizzy ever since astronomer Tabetha Boyajian announced the discovery of the strange anomaly—and suggested that one reasonable explanation may be a gigantic alien construct.
No, no, no—that’s been the response from most of the mainstream; it can’t be aliens. After the only other theory—swarms of comets—was debunked, most scientists have either been oddly silent or have simply suggested that the dimming starlight must be caused by some other unimagined phenomenon. It can’t be aliens. (As scientist and ufologist J. Allen Hynek once mocked, “it can’t be; therefore, it isn’t.”)
Now, Grinspoon, writing in Sky and Telescope magazine online, has come out in favor of the alien theory—wagging his finger at pseudo-skeptical colleagues who immediately dismiss the alien idea. “Some scientists and pundits want to condemn that idea as ridiculous and unworthy of mention,” he says. “But it would have been wrong not to consider this enticing possibility for such a strange observation.”
Dr. David Grinspoon: it might be aliens
Up until now, most of Grinspoon’s colleagues have been busy jumping on the denial train. “[I]t’s not aliens,” wrote Phil Plait, who’s known as the “bad astronomer” for his practice of debunking what he deems to be bad science. “I’ll reiterate, it really likely isn’t [aliens].”
When the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) aimed their dishes at Tabby’s Star in an attempt to find radio transmissions and found no signals, the scientific media couldn’t resist the opportunity. “Scientists rule out presence of huge alien megastructure orbiting distant star,” wrote one publication, ignoring the fact that we don’t know whether other civilizations even use radio signals to communicate. Other pundits kept repeating the comet theory (huge swarms of comets in front of the star), even long after that theory was completely deflated—the star has had this behavior for at least a century, far too long for it to be explained by comets.
Grinspoon writes, “[U]ntil scientists have convincingly explained what’s going on, is there anything wrong with entertaining the provocative thought that it could be some kind of huge alien construction?” That’s science-speak for: “I’m not saying it’s aliens. But it really might be aliens. Stay tuned.”
Read the original post at Sky and Telescope magazine online.
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