SETI: No radio signal picked up from KIC 8462852 (Tabby’s Star)

050218_canopus_830pm_02Image: the star/s Canopus and Sirius

Personally I thought, despite the news being exciting, even if it is revealed as a natural phenomenon, the internet coverage and news reporting wasn’t that all in on the we-have-found-aliens ‘news’.  There was a degree of skepticism and sensibilities with a wait and see analysis. So alas, SETI has found nothing. 

From the SETI article/findings:

Two different types of radio signals were sought: (1) Narrow-band transmissions, of order 1 Hz in width, that could be used as a “hailing signal” for societies wishing to betray their presence, and, (2) Broad-band signals produced by intense microwaves used to propel rockets servicing the megastructure.

Analysis of the Array data show no clear evidence for either type of signal between the frequencies of 1 and 10 GHz.  This rules out omnidirectional transmitters of more than approximately 100 times today’s total terrestrial energy usage in the case of the narrow-band signals, and ten million times that usage for broad band emissions.

Conclusion in regards to SETI’s findings:

While these limits are relatively high – a fact due primarily to the large distance (>1400 light-years) of KIC 8462852 – one should note the following: (1) The required transmitter power for the narrow-band signals could be reduced enormously if the signal is being deliberately beamed in our direction.  (2) Microwave propulsion schemes would undoubtedly be beamed as well, and that would also reduce the minimum transmitter power necessary for detection by the Array. 

Finally, note that any society able to build a Dyson swarm would have access to energy at a level approaching 1027 watts.  Even omnidirectional transmitters would be detectable if only a tiny percentage of this energy were used for signaling.

Observations will continue, but so far no evidence of deliberately produced radio signals has been found in the direction of KIC 8462852.

Till the next discovery…

But, imagine if you looked at the visible bright star Canopus in the lower Southern part of the night-sky;  a super-giant hydrogen star. One night, the illumination drops, to the point of it disappearing from view, only to illuminate again. Your imagination would run riot.


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