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Each of these dips have a different structure, some are very shallow, some are very sharp, and the deepest one here drops by over %. And so it seems to indicate that there is some swarm of objects with different sizes and shapes that were passing in front of the star. At first, no one had any idea what those objects could be. Then somebody came along and said, “What if there was a giant swarm of comets that was” “swooping down towards the star and blocking out the star light?” And this seemed to be consistent with the observations that we had, but it seemed a little bit contrived because it would take, you know, hundreds if not thousands of comets to block out the star’s light. But nevertheless this was kind of the best idea, theory, that we had to explain the data. But there was another possibility. That Tabby had detected the deep shadows cast by a Dyson sphere constructed around the star. The scale of these things is kind of hard to imagine, but you can think of it this way. So the Earth-Moon distance is about a quarter of a million miles and the simplest element in one of these would be times this size. Now, imagine these in orbit around the star, and you can see how it would produce anomalies in the data that we detect. Scientists are still trying to determine the precise cause of the dimming. But they have at least settled on a name. Star KIC has become known as Tabby’s Star. See you, bye! OK, bye. Along with the potential discovery of alien mega structures, also brought good news for Duncan Lorimer. A group at Manchester University announced the discovery of four more bursts. There were coming from all over the sky and they were clearly real, so it was a breakthrough moment. It meant the Lorimer Burst was real, which was just great news. And it also meant that we could learn a lot about these bursts that we couldn’t before we’d be able to study the population and the energetics and try to figure out exactly what’s causing them. I think up until that moment when the confirmation came through, I certainly every now and again, would begin to doubt myself and think, is it really just some bizarre form of interference that causes that one object? But as soon as you get those other objects, all of those doubts go away and it’s a very, very liberating feeling. Duncan was very, very excited when these other bursts were announced because, yeah, he felt vindicated. He was very self-satisfied and had a little bit of a high and mighty air for a few weeks because I’d sort of started to doubt that the Lorimer Burst was real, and he had never given up. He always said it was real, so he’d won the argument. And he made it well-known that he was right. I think I told her something like, “I told you so!” By the end of , there had been six confirmed detections of fast radio bursts. But what was causing them was still unknown. Now that fast radio bursts are real, it comes back to the idea of whether they could be caused by aliens. And I’ve never really subscribed to that. If I were looking for a signal from an extraterrestrial civilisation, I’d be looking for it coming from a single point in the sky. We have a population of sources all over the sky which implies that the aliens are all over the place, all over the universe, and that just seems highly unlikely to me. But then, mathematical analysis of the known signals seemed to show they were all placed at regularly spaced distances. Maybe, whatever was responsible for the fast radio bursts were put there by extraterrestrials, perhaps even ones on the next level of the Kardashev scale. Communication beacons placed across the Milky Way by a Type III civilisation. One with the ability to harness the power of an entire galaxy. But, if the Milky Way were home to a Type III civilisation, its presence should be written across the sky. We know from thermodynamics that any energy usage that does useful work produces waste heat. Our car engines produce waste heat, our laptop batteries produce waste heat, so too does any energy usage by any technology, whether it’s human technology, or an extraterrestrial technology.



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