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Alien Merry-Go-Round Discovered?

16 Oct 2015, 02:24 UTC
Alien Merry-Go-Round Discovered?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Nope. But, there IS a Star with Something REALLY Cool!
An artist’s concept of a Ring World around a star, a concept written about by SF writer Larry Niven. Image Courtesy Hill, CC By-SA 3.0.
Alien hunters in the mainstream media were delighted to hear that the Kepler mission to search out distant exoplanets found what they thought was unmistakeable evidence of life elsewhere in the universe — preferably little green beings with medical instruments and the keys to one spaceship for everybody on the planet.
As the old Etta James song goes, “At last….”
Time to break out the 72-point Chiller typeface and pictures of alien greys with giant eyes, right?
Not so fast, kids. The evidence for the breathless hype about aliens this week comes from an actual science result that got misinterpreted. There’s a paper published by a group of explanet researchers, coupled with observers involved in a planet-search strategy called the Planet Hunters Project (a citizen science project through Zooniverse). It talks about the variability of light coming from a star and gives some ideas about what’s causing it. Their combined work actually points to something far more fascinating and much more likely than aliens: the ...

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