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Could Giant Alien Structures Be Dimming a Far Away Star? - Slashdot
Astronomers and alien life enthusiasts alike are buzzing over the sudden dimming of an otherwise unremarkable star 1300 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. KIC 8462852 or "Tabby's star" has dimmed like this several times before, prompting some researchers to suggest that the megastructures of an advanced alien civilization might be blocking its light. And now -- based on new data from numerous telescopes -- it's doing it again. "This is the first clear dip we have seen since [2013], and the first we have ever caught in real time," says Jason Wright, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University in State College. If they can rope in more telescopes, astronomers hope to gather enough data to finally figure out what's going on. "This could be the first of several dips about to come," says astronomer David Kipping of Columbia University. "Many observers will be closely watching." KIC 8462852 was first noticed to be dipping in brightness at seemingly random intervals between 2011 and 2013 by NASA's Kepler telescope. Kepler, launched to observe the stellar dimmings caused when an exoplanet passes in front of its star, revealed that the dimming of Tabby's star was much more erratic than a typical planetary transit. It was also more extreme, with its brightness sometimes dropping by as much as 20%. This was not the passage of a small circular planet, but of something much larger and more irregular.
slashdot  seti  Aliens  exoplanets  nasa 
16 hours ago by gardencat
The Fermi Paradox - Wait But Why
So there are 100 Earth-like planets for every grain of sand in the world. Think about that next time you’re on the beach.
earth  life  science  space  aliens  fermi 
4 days ago by hellsten
William Gibson’s Never-Filmed 'Alien III' Script: A History
RT : William Gibson wrote an sequel. Here’s what it was and how it happened
Aliens  from twitter
6 days ago by mrtoto
The Fermi Paradox - Wait But Why - Pocket
PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe.
fermi  physics  astronomy  paradox  future  history  space  aliens 
8 days ago by otlib
When all the dogs in the neighborhood start borking at the same time
aliens  from twitter_favs
9 days ago by opticode
Animal defend earth from aliens
I really want a science fiction story where aliens come to invade earth and effortlessly wipe out humanity, only to be fought off by the wildlife.
They were expecting military resistance. They weren’t counting on bears.
Imagine coming to a hostile alien world and being attacked by a horde of creatures that can weigh up to 3 tons, run at 30 km/h (19 mph), and bite with a force of 8,100 newtons (1,800 lbf).
By the time you realise that they can traverse water, it’s too late. The surviving members of your unit manage to make it back by shedding their excess gear and running for their lives; the slower ones were crushed to death within minutes.
You later describe the creature to one of the humans you captured, wanting to know the name of the monstrosity that will haunt your nightmares for cycles to come.
The human smiles as it speaks a single word, slowly and distinctly, in its barbaric tongue.
This is giving me the biggest, creepiest grin I might have ever grinned
Imagine being the next crew to go down to earth and thinking “it’s fine, we got this. We have the weapons and equipment necessary to deal with bears and *shudders* hippopotamuses. We’ll be fine.”
And at first you are, you’ve learned how to dodge. You’ve learned where their territories are. You know how to defend yourself.
But then one night you are sleeping in your shelter. You’re in a tree covered temperate part of earth. It seems benign. There are been no sightings of the dreaded “hippos” around. Not even any bears. But there is a slight rustle of the undergrowth. You try and ignore it telling yourself it is just the wind.
Then you hear the rustle again. closer this time.
You peer out into the darkness but see nothing amongst the trees.
The rustle again and now you realise you can smell something. It’s musky and slightly foul. It’s the smell of an omen, a warning. But what of? Where is this smell coming from.
You sit up, but it’s too late. The foul smelling creature is on you. You are hit with 17kg of coarse fur and vicious bites. Long dark claws tear in to you and you are pinned down white the striped creature tries to bite your throat.
It takes some doing but you manage to wrestle free. Blood drips from your wounds and already they itch with the sign of infection. The creature has a bloodied snout, rust rad, mingling with the black and white hairs. It lets out a terrifying growl from the back of its throat and looks to attack again. It’s between you and your knife, so your only choice is to back away.
Eventually the creature gives up and snuffles off in to the undergrowth, down a hole near your shelter you hadn’t noticed before.
When you make it back to your base you once again consult the captive human.
“Badger.” they say, with a solemn nod.
One word: Moose
“Our vehicles are far superior to the local human models, in range, speed, armament, and any other metric you care to name! Nothing could possibly-”
“That’s called a moose.”
Also.. dolphins.
The invasion is going slowly. The humans have caught on and are actively destroying information on the planet’s flora and fauna before Intelligence can capture and process it. All that they have are survivors’ accounts. Bears. Hippos. Badgers. Moose. It is becoming obvious this mudball planet is a full-on Death World to the unprepared, and you are so very unprepared.
You lost Jaxurn to a plant. Not even a mobile or carnivorous plant, just one that caused a vicious allergic reaction on contact that killed him in less than a rai'kor. Commander Vura'ko died to an insect bite, a tiny local pest that sucked a tiny bit of her blood and apparently replaced it with a bit of its last meal, which was full of disease. Backwash. She died to bug backwash. And yet you honestly envy them after that… thing you encountered…
When you got back to base the quarantine officer refused to let you inside. They had to roll a containment tank outside to put you in, because you all knew there would be no chance of eliminating the smell if it got into the ship’s air ducts. Smell. You wonder if your nasal slit will ever recover from this stench.
And the smell would. Not. Leave. After incinerating your gear the Q.O. had you use every cleansing agent they could think of, including a few janitorial ones, and still everyone fled the stench if they were downwind of your tank. Desperate to protect everyone’s nasal slits from the smell the quarantine officer interrogated the humans. From them, a glimmer of hope: there was a cure. Somehow the juice of a certain fruit on this mudball was the only thing that could break up the chemicals in the little horror’s spray. Immediately the Q.O. sent a team to recover buckets of the stuff and made you bathe in it. That was hours ago and it didn’t seem to be working, though. All it was doing was turning your blue skin an interesting shade of purple.
Sighing in frustration you wave the med-assist on duty over, who only approaches after checking the wind direction. Annoyed, you flip on the tank`s vox speaker.
“The humans did say it was “grape” juice that removed “skunk” stench, right?“
Every night.
It came for someone almost every night.
Any soldier alone was a viable target for this native monster that moved unseen by any but the security viewers, usually only spotted in hindsight. They were taken as silently as this earth-monster moved. Sometimes they’d find the remains in the morning taken up a tree and hung there, mostly eaten, as if it were a grisly reminder that the monster was still there, waiting unseen, to strike again.
What little they saw of the monster on the vidfeed showed true horror. Yellow eyes that shone with all the light it could gather. It had fangs as long as his grasping digits. Claws half that size formed curved hooks that allowed it to climb up their fortifications with impunity. And in the underbrush, its spots made it almost impossible to see clearly in the undergrowth, if it could be seen at all.
Even the native sentients, the humans, had a healthy respect and fear for it.
The earth natives called the monster a leopard.
It was a constant fear that muddied the senses, and let the monster hunt even more effectively as the soldiers were always on edge. Sleep deprived with fear, it made them even better targets for the monster.
But rumor was that there was worse on this planet. Rumors of a monster like a leopard but larger, and bigger in every imaginable sense. Stripped instead of spotted, which leaped from the underbrush with a sound.
A sound that burst eardrums, paralyzed entire units, and let the monster kill with impunity. While the Leopard wrestled soldiers down and ripped their throats out. This other monster, the Tiger, killed with its pounce alone.
“We’ve been through this,” Group Leader 455 snapped. “The dissection of an Earth life form will help the scientists make weapons to combat the rest of this planet’s hellbeasts. And these are domesticated. Harmless.”
The troops were not-quite-looking at her in the way troops do when they don’t want to be seen to contradict a ranking officer, but can’t quite muster a correct Expression of Enthusiastic Assent. “The name of this species,” she pointed out, “is synonymous with dullness and slowness in the language of the Earth barbarians.” Well, one language out of several thousand—these creatures needed Imperial guidance more than any other world on record—but there was no point in confusing the rank and file.
More not-quite-looking. 455 bubbled a sigh and consulted her scanner. “That one,” she decided. “Alone in the separate pasture. Scans suggest that it’s a male, which means it’s probably weaker. Possibly it’s kept isolated so that the females don’t eat it before mating season. And yes, I know some of you are here on punishment detail, but you’re still soldiers of the Imperium. This squad is perfectly capable of handling a lone, helpless, pathetic male cow.”
I’m enjoying this immensely. Wait until the aliens try Australia for size…
cheerup  aliens  earth 
9 days ago by stormclouds
[1705.03394] That is not dead which can eternal lie: the aestivation hypothesis for resolving Fermi's paradox
If a civilization wants to maximize computation it appears rational to aestivate until the far future in order to exploit the low temperature environment: this can produce a 1030 multiplier of achievable computation. We hence suggest the "aestivation hypothesis": the reason we are not observing manifestations of alien civilizations is that they are currently (mostly) inactive, patiently waiting for future cosmic eras. This paper analyzes the assumptions going into the hypothesis and how physical law and observational evidence constrain the motivations of aliens compatible with the hypothesis.
aliens  Fermi-paradox  rather-interesting  to-write-about  via:absfac 
9 days ago by Vaguery
[1705.03394] That is not dead which can eternal lie: the aestivation hypothesis for resolving Fermi's paradox
<<If a civilization wants to maximize computation it appears rational to aestivate until the far future in order to exploit the low temperature environment: this can produce a 10^30 multiplier of achievable computation. We hence suggest the "aestivation hypothesis": the reason we are not observing manifestations of alien civilizations is that they are currently (mostly) inactive, patiently waiting for future cosmic eras. This paper analyzes the assumptions going into the hypothesis and how physical law and observational evidence constrain the motivations of aliens compatible with the hypothesis.>>
fermi-paradox  aliens  computer-science  futurism 
10 days ago by absfac

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