Author Topic: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion  (Read 133065 times)

Offline meekGee

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #980 on: 01/07/2018 06:18 PM »
No need to be"anti ET"...  Just need to require specific evidence.

Current ET arguments are "by elimination". They say that since there isn't a simple conclusive natural explanation yet, and if we tailor a sufficiently advanced alien capability around the observation, then we have a credible case for ET.

This kind of logic can be used to "explain" anything in the universe, and can be equally "successful" in arguing for all sorts of gods as well.  "It's too complex to have occured naturally".

I personally would want extraordinary evidence for the existence of specific aliens, not just an observation that's hard to explain.

Why would you require extraordinary evidence?

Iíd thought youíd need the same level of evidence as any other natural phenomena, unless somehow you donít think other intelligent life is a natural development in the universe.

You canít just move around the goalposts to suit yourself.
Because the arbitrarily advanced ET hypothesis is so malleable that it can be used to explain almost anything.

Maybe Quazars are just type II civilizations communicating.

Maybe black matter is industrial waste from unknown processes employed by type III civilizations.

That's the problem with thr ET hypothesis - it is practically universal, and so you need to get that extraordinary evidence.

Physical phenomena, OTOH, are much more constrained, and require much higher level of detail in order to even be considered.
« Last Edit: 01/07/2018 06:54 PM by meekGee »
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Offline Star One

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #981 on: 01/07/2018 06:24 PM »
The hubris is strong with the anti-ETI crowd again I see.
If thinking the universe can do weird, unexpected stuff without aliens is hubris... guilty

In seriousness though, I'm not "anti-ET". I'm firmly in the camp that says we aren't special, they are probably out there and we should keep our eyes and minds open. However, in the history of astronomy a lot more stuff that started out as weird and unexplained turned out to be dust than aliens. Absent specific data pointing to ET, I'll continue to expect most astronomical puzzles to have natural explanations. (edit for emphasis: This doesn't mean we shouldn't look, it just means we shouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be natural)

For this star, I've never seen anything that specifically favors of ET. It's weird and unexplained, sure, but nothing about the weirdness favors an artificial origin. If the light curve matched simple geometric shapes or blinked out prime numbers or something like that it would be different story, but in reality it looks like the kind of chaotic noisy stuff nature does all the time.

IMO the whole perception that it might be aliens mostly stemmed from misunderstanding. Wright's original mega-structure paper that kicked the hype off basically asked "Does this unexplained light curve fit ideas about what advanced aliens could build?" and concluded didn't fit particularly well, though limited data and the flexibility of "aliens" prevents ruling them out. Unfortunately in the press and popular opinion "astronomer examines whether it could be aliens" turned into "astronomers think it could be aliens!"
No need to be"anti ET"...  Just need to require specific evidence
.


Current ET arguments are "by elimination". They say that since there isn't a simple conclusive natural explanation yet, and if we tailor a sufficiently advanced alien capability around the observation, then we have a credible case for ET.

This kind of logic can be used to "explain" anything in the universe, and can be equally "successful" in arguing for all sorts of gods as well.  "It's too complex to have occured naturally".

I personally would want extraordinary evidence for the existence of specific aliens, not just an observation that's hard to explain.

Why would you require extraordinary evidence?

Iíd thought youíd need the same level of evidence as any other natural phenomena, unless somehow you donít think other intelligent life is a natural development in the universe.

You canít just move around the goalposts to suit yourself.
Because the arbitrarily advanced ET hypothesis is so malleable that it can be used to explain almost anything.

Maybe Quazars are just type II civilizations communicating.

Maybe black matter is industrial waste from unknown processes employed by type III civilizations.

That's the problem with thr ET hypothesis - it is practically universal, and so you need to get that extraordinary evidence.

Physical phenomena, OTOH, are much more constrained, and require much higher level of detail in order to even be considered.

But that runs the risk of dismissing genuine evidence?

Take the WOW signal in many ways that fulfils the criteria for an alien signal, but because it hasnít repeated yet itís not even put in the possible category by a lot of people.

Offline meekGee

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #982 on: 01/07/2018 06:32 PM »
Because the arbitrarily advanced ET hypothesis is so malleable that it can be used to explain almost anything.

Maybe Quazars are just type II civilizations communicating.

Maybe black matter is industrial waste from unknown processes employed by type III civilizations.

That's the problem with thr ET hypothesis - it is practically universal, and so you need to get that extraordinary evidence.

Physical phenomena, OTOH, are much more constrained, and require much higher level of detail in order to even be considered.

But that runs the risk of dismissing genuine evidence?

Take the WOW signal in many ways that fulfils the criteria for an alien signal, but because it hasnít repeated yet itís not even put in the possible category by a lot of people.
That's right.  Imagine we've only ever detected a single GRB, or seen evidence of a single black hole..

But more importantly, in order to go from WOW to aliens, wouldn't we want to get some informational content out of it?

We don't know if it was a real phenomena or not, and if it was, we have no explanation for it.

That right there is all there is, and until we know more, it does not support any ET theory.
« Last Edit: 01/07/2018 06:53 PM by meekGee »
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Offline Star One

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #983 on: 01/07/2018 06:46 PM »
The hubris is strong with the anti-ETI crowd again I see.
If thinking the universe can do weird, unexpected stuff without aliens is hubris... guilty

In seriousness though, I'm not "anti-ET". I'm firmly in the camp that says we aren't special, they are probably out there and we should keep our eyes and minds open. However, in the history of astronomy a lot more stuff that started out as weird and unexplained turned out to be dust than aliens. Absent specific data pointing to ET, I'll continue to expect most astronomical puzzles to have natural explanations. (edit for emphasis: This doesn't mean we shouldn't look, it just means we shouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be natural)

For this star, I've never seen anything that specifically favors of ET. It's weird and unexplained, sure, but nothing about the weirdness favors an artificial origin. If the light curve matched simple geometric shapes or blinked out prime numbers or something like that it would be different story, but in reality it looks like the kind of chaotic noisy stuff nature does all the time.

IMO the whole perception that it might be aliens mostly stemmed from misunderstanding. Wright's original mega-structure paper that kicked the hype off basically asked "Does this unexplained light curve fit ideas about what advanced aliens could build?" and concluded didn't fit particularly well, though limited data and the flexibility of "aliens" prevents ruling them out. Unfortunately in the press and popular opinion "astronomer examines whether it could be aliens" turned into "astronomers think it could be aliens!"
No need to be"anti ET"...  Just need to require specific evidence
.


Current ET arguments are "by elimination". They say that since there isn't a simple conclusive natural explanation yet, and if we tailor a sufficiently advanced alien capability around the observation, then we have a credible case for ET.

This kind of logic can be used to "explain" anything in the universe, and can be equally "successful" in arguing for all sorts of gods as well.  "It's too complex to have occured naturally".

I personally would want extraordinary evidence for the existence of specific aliens, not just an observation that's hard to explain.

Why would you require extraordinary evidence?

Iíd thought youíd need the same level of evidence as any other natural phenomena, unless somehow you donít think other intelligent life is a natural development in the universe.

You canít just move around the goalposts to suit yourself.
Because the arbitrarily advanced ET hypothesis is so malleable that it can be used to explain almost anything.

Maybe Quazars are just type II civilizations communicating.

Maybe black matter is industrial waste from unknown processes employed by type III civilizations.

That's the problem with thr ET hypothesis - it is practically universal, and so you need to get that extraordinary evidence.

Physical phenomena, OTOH, are much more constrained, and require much higher level of detail in order to even be considered.

But that runs the risk of dismissing genuine evidence?

Take the WOW signal in many ways that fulfils the criteria for an alien signal, but because it hasnít repeated yet itís not even put in the possible category by a lot of people.
That's right.  Imagine we've only ever detected a single GRB, or seen evidence of a single black hole..

But more importantly, in order to go from WOW to aliens, wouldn't we want to get some informational content out of it?

We don't know if it was a real phenomena or not, and if it was, we have no explanation for it.

That right there is all there is, and until we know more, it does not support any ET theory.

Well thereís no reason to suppose the wow signal should contain information, a lighthouse beam contains no information itís just a beam of light to help navigation, and thereís nothing to say an alien signal might not perform the same function.

Offline jebbo

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #984 on: 01/07/2018 06:48 PM »
Off topic. Can you discuss this elsewhere? For example, the general SETI thread

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #985 on: 01/08/2018 03:18 PM »
I'd suggest, and you don't have to listen to me at all, that we limit our discussions of potential explanations to specific theories that can be falsified. If there is no way to disprove a theory either natural or ETI then it becomes a philosophical debate and not a scientific one. So if we are going to propose aliens or black holes then there need to be some observations we can make about this star that could disprove the proposal.

The Dyson Swarm hypothesis was a great hypothesis because it could be disproven by the predictions it made about what we would see. One of those predictions was that the dips would be achromatic. Boyajian and the other astronomers were able set up their observations to test that prediction. Unfortunately the dips are chromatic thus there is not a Dyson Swarm around the star.

Now the data are pointing to thin dust being the immediate cause for the dips. There are some predictions that this theory makes as well which make it a good hypothesis too. One is that the bigger dips will be less chromatic, that the red to blue ratio will show dependency on the amplitude of the dip. If there is another big dip like Kepler saw then we will get a chance to test this. The theory isn't complete though because dust with the proposed particle size should be blown away from the radiative pressure of the star. Something is replenishing it in a very short timeframe.

Offline as58

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #986 on: 01/08/2018 04:12 PM »
Now the data are pointing to thin dust being the immediate cause for the dips. There are some predictions that this theory makes as well which make it a good hypothesis too. One is that the bigger dips will be less chromatic, that the red to blue ratio will show dependency on the amplitude of the dip.

Why would bigger dips be less chromatic? Ok, for really big dips  that would happen, but even for the deepest Kepler dips I think the optical depth effect should be fairly small.

Offline Star One

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #987 on: 01/08/2018 04:21 PM »
Now the data are pointing to thin dust being the immediate cause for the dips. There are some predictions that this theory makes as well which make it a good hypothesis too. One is that the bigger dips will be less chromatic, that the red to blue ratio will show dependency on the amplitude of the dip.

Why would bigger dips be less chromatic? Ok, for really big dips  that would happen, but even for the deepest Kepler dips I think the optical depth effect should be fairly small.

The dust is less interesting at this stage than where itís coming from.

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #988 on: 01/08/2018 04:43 PM »
Now the data are pointing to thin dust being the immediate cause for the dips. There are some predictions that this theory makes as well which make it a good hypothesis too. One is that the bigger dips will be less chromatic, that the red to blue ratio will show dependency on the amplitude of the dip.

Why would bigger dips be less chromatic? Ok, for really big dips  that would happen, but even for the deepest Kepler dips I think the optical depth effect should be fairly small.
Its a prediction from the paper "Non-grey dimming events of KIC 8462852 from GTC spectrophotometry" https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.00720

Quote
If dust is indeed the source of KIC 8462852's dimming events, deeper dimming events should show more neutral colours, as is expected from optically thick absorbers.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #989 on: 01/08/2018 05:09 PM »
Well thereís no reason to suppose the wow signal should contain information, a lighthouse beam contains no information itís just a beam of light to help navigation, and thereís nothing to say an alien signal might not perform the same function.

This is off topic, maybe, but relevant: Lighthouse beams DO contain information. Each lighthouse has a slightly different pattern for its flashes of light, in this way ships can use the lighthouse beacon to determine where it is. Color can also be used, for example, lighthouses projecting red beams warn about specific types of hazards.

If we got a signal from an extraterrestrial intelligence, we should expect it to contain information. Conversely, if a signal contains no information, how would we ever be able to determine it's from an extraterrestrial intelligence?
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Offline JWDodge

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #990 on: 01/09/2018 07:58 PM »
 8)
Forgive me, but concerning Tabbyís Star, I believe what someone should be looking for is a previously unobserved and undetected solar system anywhere between 40 to 350 light years from earth, whose planets are inside our direct line of sight of Tabbyís Star. (The closer to earth, the greater the effect would appear.) Offset slightly to the left or right and currently unobserved by anyone on earth, this solar systems planets (four to seven planetary bodies of varying sizes) would pass in front of Tabbyís Star (once forward, then back inside that half of their orbits) would suggest a seemingly erratic pattern. But in fact, given their differing sizes, orbits and positions in relation to one another inside those orbits in a half orbital pattern, would account for the erratic brightening and dimming that has been observed. I have sent Miss Boyajian a communique, but have not received a response to date. JW.

Offline Dao Angkan

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #991 on: 01/09/2018 09:08 PM »
8)
Forgive me, but concerning Tabbyís Star, I believe what someone should be looking for is a previously unobserved and undetected solar system anywhere between 40 to 350 light years from earth, whose planets are inside our direct line of sight of Tabbyís Star. (The closer to earth, the greater the effect would appear.) Offset slightly to the left or right and currently unobserved by anyone on earth, this solar systems planets (four to seven planetary bodies of varying sizes) would pass in front of Tabbyís Star (once forward, then back inside that half of their orbits) would suggest a seemingly erratic pattern. But in fact, given their differing sizes, orbits and positions in relation to one another inside those orbits in a half orbital pattern, would account for the erratic brightening and dimming that has been observed. I have sent Miss Boyajian a communique, but have not received a response to date. JW.

Which stars do you propose (there is a finite number of stars within the distance that you propose), and have you calculated how the proper motion of this star would affect future observations? If your model can make predictions about future observations then we can verify or falsify your model.

Offline hop

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #992 on: 01/09/2018 09:12 PM »
Forgive me, but concerning Tabbyís Star, I believe what someone should be looking for is a previously unobserved and undetected solar system anywhere between 40 to 350 light years from earth, whose planets are inside our direct line of sight of Tabbyís Star.
They already did. Pretty much any solar system near the line of sight between us and Boyajian's star would already be detected, because solar systems have stars, and stars closer than Boyajian's star would be readily visible. All that's left are some extreme edge cases, like the quiescent black hole idea mentioned up thread or maybe brown dwarfs.

The lowest angular separation star of any significance is the presumed M-dwarf discussed in the discovery paper.

Blends (where the angular separation is so small the stars appear as a single point) are heavily constrained by spectra.

Quote
I have sent Miss Boyajian a communique, but have not received a response to date.
Perhaps you should have addressed your communique to Dr Boyajian. Writing a professional and suggesting they do something obvious may not make a great impression... especially when they already did the thing and published the result.

Offline MP99

Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #993 on: 01/09/2018 09:29 PM »


But that runs the risk of dismissing genuine evidence?

Take the WOW signal in many ways that fulfils the criteria for an alien signal, but because it hasnít repeated yet itís not even put in the possible category by a lot of people.

Because these things often end up with a mundane explanation. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence...

https://phys.org/news/2017-06-wow-mystery-space.html

Cheers, Martin

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Offline Star One

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Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #994 on: 01/09/2018 09:58 PM »


But that runs the risk of dismissing genuine evidence?

Take the WOW signal in many ways that fulfils the criteria for an alien signal, but because it hasnít repeated yet itís not even put in the possible category by a lot of people.

Because these things often end up with a mundane explanation. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence...

https://phys.org/news/2017-06-wow-mystery-space.html

Cheers, Martin

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Please donít post debunked explanations. See the WOW signal thread for more info. Iíve recently posted a handy video in there that handle explains why this explanation is probably a load of old rubbish. But thereís further info in there as well.
« Last Edit: 01/09/2018 10:00 PM by Star One »

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #995 on: 01/10/2018 02:43 PM »
The lowest angular separation star of any significance is the presumed M-dwarf discussed in the discovery paper.
That M-dwarf has been on my mind since the papers last week pointing to dust being the culprit. Boyajian's original hypothesis was a comet swarm. If this dwarf star is close it may be close enough to be disrupting KIC 8462852's Oort cloud and causing a comet swarm. However, the low angular separation doesn't mean that the two stars are close. In the discovery paper they estimate a ~1% chance that the dwarf star is a foreground or background object. I could be wrong but I think that they are too far away to get a parallax measurement. Is there any way to figure out if the two stars really are near each other?

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #996 on: 01/10/2018 04:17 PM »
In the discovery paper they estimate a ~1% chance that the dwarf star is a foreground or background object. I could be wrong but I think that they are too far away to get a parallax measurement. Is there any way to figure out if the two stars really are near each other?

Boyajians star is one of the stars being measured by the Gaia probe, & preliminary results are already available.  I do not believe the M dwarf is being measured by Gaia.  In order to get better measurements than Gaia, a new mission would be needed that has a longer baseline than SEL2. 
« Last Edit: 01/12/2018 02:28 AM by Stan-1967 »

Offline Star One

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #997 on: 01/11/2018 08:47 PM »
An important development I think.

Quote
Jason Wright
@Astro_Wright
Michael Castelaz finds MMO photometry supports Schaefer claim of century-long dimming of #TabbysStar
@tsboyajian
@hippke

https://mobile.twitter.com/Astro_Wright/status/951490197132337153

Offline Star One

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Offline Cinder

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #999 on: 01/13/2018 02:34 AM »
MMO = Maria Mitchell Observatory, for anyone else wondering (who hadn't clicked thru to twitter, above).
The pork must flow.

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