Would you believe NASA has found evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe?
Well its true, they have - perhaps, possibly, allegedly - in the proximity of an obscure nameless star located 1,500 light-years distant from Earth.
For the past several years NASA’s Kepler Space Observatory has been scanning the stars looking for planets, which appear as tiny shadows moving across the faces of the stars they transit. But any large object in orbit is presumably detectible, and revolving around this particular star astronomers discovered a densely-clustered conglomeration of massive and utterly mysterious objects, all moving in unison and none easily explained with conventional theory.
They are not clumped asteroids, exploded planets, micro-black holes or any other type of known astrophysical phenomenon. Some have speculated they might be congregated comets whose orbits were somehow disturbed by the recent passage of another star. But this far-fetched yarn seems spun to make inconvenient facts disappear.
While some may be too cautious to go there, others are going there. Like Dr. Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University. Based on the available data, Dr. Wright is preparing to publish an article that asserts these objects could be a “massive swarm of mega-structures” constructed by an advanced race of space-faring beings.
Seriously, that’s what he’s going to say. In a mainstream, peer-reviewed scientific journal no less. He'll hedge his bets, of course, by offering this as a theory and not a firm answer. But even mentioning such an idea in a mainstream outlet is remarkable, given Big Science's usual hostility to all things alien.
And amazingly, his opinion is gaining support among the astrophysical intelligentsia. The intelligent life hypothesis provides the simplest and most straightforward explanation for the anomalies that have been found, many seem to feel, and that is why the scoffing is currently at a minimum.
In January of 2016 those intrepid guys and gals from SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) plan to point a huge radio dish at the anomalous star, in search of electromagnetic frequency waves that might indicate the presence of a technologically advanced society.
Of course the civilization of the builders, if they exist, may have moved beyond using electromagnetic signals for communication or data transfer. So if the SETI project doesn’t find anything that will prove nothing. But if those signals are detected, it will mark a watershed moment in our ongoing search for extraterrestrial life.
Engineering Marvels in a Galaxy of Wonders
When NASA launched the Kepler Space Observatory in 2009, unlike the starship Enterprise its mission was not to seek out new life and new civilizations. It was only supposed to find planets, and it has done that quite successfully (1,030 confirmed hits as of this writing).
But Kepler has exceeded expectations, and in dramatic fashion. If the alien hypothesis is correct, Kepler may have revealed the presence of fantastically awesome planetary-scale artifacts circling a far-off star, built by a society of dreamers who were busy colonizing space while humanity was still fumbling around in the dark, toiling in technological obscurity. These structures might be expansive solar-energy collectors, floating domed-cities, gigantic spaceships, a megalithic interstellar Stonehenge … the list of possibilities is endless.
Whatever these objects are we do know they've been around for at least 1,500 years, based on speed-of-light calculations. So if they are artificial and a galactic civilization really was responsible, we can only imagine how far the builders have progressed in the centuries since they pulled off this engineering miracle.