Astronomers have been left puzzled by a star that appears to have an unexplained mass orbiting around it.
Located 1,480 light years from the Earth, the star has been of interest to scientists ever since the Kepler Space Telescope first picked it up between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra in 2009.
The star emits a light pattern similar to what would be expected if it had a planet in orbit around it, however in this case the pattern is quite unlike anything that anyone has ever seen before.
The pattern is indicative of a large, tightly packed assortment of matter – something that would be expected if the star were young – but as it happens this particular star is not young at all.
So what is the peculiar mass in orbit around it and why hasn’t it disappeared by now ?
The discovery has been deemed so unusual in fact that some scientists have put forward the notion that we might be looking at some sort of gigantic structure built by an alien civilization.
SETI ( The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence ) has previously suggested that we might be able to find evidence of advanced extraterrestrials by seeking out their ‘megastructures’ in space.
According to astronomer Jason Wright this particular find might actually fit the bill.
“When [I was shown] the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” he said.
“Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”
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