Author Topic: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion  (Read 195854 times)

Offline Star One

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #80 on: 01/20/2017 04:53 PM »
Extraordinary evidence is simply evidence that can only be interpreted as being cause by ETI.

But I have the suspicion some people at least use this so they can move the goal posts so it makes proving the theory virtually impossible.

Offline Star One

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« Last Edit: 01/20/2017 05:13 PM by Star One »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #82 on: 01/20/2017 06:57 PM »
For the same reason we require extraordinary evidence that some phenomenon on Earth is caused by little elf people and not some more mundane physical explanation.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Star One

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #83 on: 01/20/2017 07:02 PM »
For the same reason we require extraordinary evidence that some phenomenon on Earth is caused by little elf people and not some more mundane physical explanation.

That's an extremely poor comparison being as little elf people definitely don't exist but intelligent aliens possible do. And seemingly typically of the narrow thinking some take on this.
« Last Edit: 01/20/2017 07:03 PM by Star One »

Offline matthewkantar

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #84 on: 01/20/2017 07:25 PM »
little elf people definitely don't exist

Prove it.

Matthew

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #85 on: 01/20/2017 07:43 PM »
That's an extremely poor comparison being as little elf people definitely don't exist but intelligent aliens possible do. And seemingly typically of the narrow thinking some take on this.
They not only could exist, they could also be aliens :-)

For me, the important part of the debate is simply that no amount of eliminating other explanations goes to proving aliens. There will always be infinite more possible explanations we haven't thought to eliminate.

Eliminating any one of these other explanations does make aliens more likely, sure, but what makes it not help as a proof is that it tells us nothing about how likely it actually is. There can't be a formula that says the probability was 0.00996, and after eliminating one thing we thought of, the chance is now 0.00997.

I think to prove aliens you have think of tests for particular types of aliens we can describe and then seeing if it passes those tests. Note that failing these tests also does nothing to disprove aliens. It could be another sort of alien we have not thought of yet. But continually passing those tests would not only become a proof of aliens, it would define the term.

Off the top of my head things that would be evidence for aliens.
* Evidence of the same phenomena spreading to neighbouring stars.
* Evidence in the spectra that suggests the dips are caused by something blocking the light that is highly abnormal chemically. Perhaps we can detect crystal or polymer, or just concentrations of certain elements that are highly unexpected from natural explanations
* Evidence of communication, obviously.
* Evidence that matches specific theories of how star-lifting or other mega engineering feats might be achieved. Just 'dips in the light that might be from something blocking it' is by itself very little.

Again, not finding these things does not quantifiably disprove aliens. Finding them would begin to build up the case for aliens though.

Offline redliox

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #86 on: 01/21/2017 12:06 AM »
Off the top of my head things that would be evidence for aliens.
* Evidence of the same phenomena spreading to neighbouring stars.
* Evidence in the spectra that suggests the dips are caused by something blocking the light that is highly abnormal chemically. Perhaps we can detect crystal or polymer, or just concentrations of certain elements that are highly unexpected from natural explanations
* Evidence of communication, obviously.
* Evidence that matches specific theories of how star-lifting or other mega engineering feats might be achieved. Just 'dips in the light that might be from something blocking it' is by itself very little.

Regarding checking neighboring stars, I'd call it 50/50.  A civilization capable of transforming their solar system into a Dyson Sphere or Ring World will both be capable of tremendous things and have a great need for resources, but interstellar travel may be hard even for them.  The physics of either warp drive or creating a wormhole already seem to imply crazy amounts of energy even a Type 2 Kardashev scale civilization may find wasteful.

All the same, comparing the system to its immediate neighbors is wise, especially if the phenomenon isn't limited to one system but is natural.  At the least we need a better look at Tabby's Star with larger telescopes.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #87 on: 01/21/2017 03:34 AM »
A civilization capable of transforming their solar system into a Dyson Sphere or Ring World will both be capable of tremendous things and have a great need for resources, but interstellar travel may be hard even for them.
That is right. Failure to find these things is not the same as disproving aliens. It is finding things like this that would begin to build a case for a certain plausible type of alien. A "proof", if it were to come, would also give us a model of what these aliens are.

Real proof could tell us incredible things. For example suppose we find that really peculiar chemical spectra. In trying to figure out a model of alien that would use that, we might figure out why we would use it, and peek millions of years ahead in our own evolution. If pondering this material leads us to develop a perfect superconductor for example then that is very good evidence for intelligence there.. as it changes us here.

Proof will come simultaneously with constraining our model of our aliens to a specific thing. "Disproof", or the closest thing to it, would only come from finding a perfectly good mundane explanation that matched all our current evidence and continued to match new predictions based on that model.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #88 on: 01/21/2017 04:31 PM »
Proof will come simultaneously with constraining our model of our aliens to a specific thing. "Disproof", or the closest thing to it, would only come from finding a perfectly good mundane explanation that matched all our current evidence and continued to match new predictions based on that model.
Disproof is even harder than proof.  You can imagine a pretty solid proof, such as a coherent radio signal counting out digits of PI. 

But it's hard to imagine a convincing disproof.  No amount of mundane explanations can do this, for if aliens don't want to be seen, they may arrange their affairs to look natural.  After all, camouflage is common on Earth, in biology, military, and aesthetic applications (think of cell phone towers designed to look like trees).   So a natural explanation can only suggest, but not prove, that aliens are not responsible.

The difficulty of disproof is shown by psychology experiments where they start by showing a magic trick.  Some of the audience think it's really magic, and others think it's a trick.   Then they have the magician show exactly how the trick is done, and ask the audience again.  Still not all are convinced - maybe *this time* was done by a trick, but it could be that the last time *really was* magic.  It's philosophically possible...


Offline hop

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #89 on: 01/22/2017 06:55 AM »
But it's hard to imagine a convincing disproof.  No amount of mundane explanations can do this, for if aliens don't want to be seen, they may arrange their affairs to look natural.  After all, camouflage is common on Earth, in biology, military, and aesthetic applications (think of cell phone towers designed to look like trees).   So a natural explanation can only suggest, but not prove, that aliens are not responsible.
I would argue you can get close enough for all practical purposes. Pulsars looked like a relatively good candidate for an alien signal when they were discovered, but given what we know now, it's very clear they are natural.  It's not hard to imagine additional observations leading us to a similarly compelling, self consistent explanation for Boyajian's star.

Offline Star One

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #90 on: 01/22/2017 08:22 AM »
But it's hard to imagine a convincing disproof.  No amount of mundane explanations can do this, for if aliens don't want to be seen, they may arrange their affairs to look natural.  After all, camouflage is common on Earth, in biology, military, and aesthetic applications (think of cell phone towers designed to look like trees).   So a natural explanation can only suggest, but not prove, that aliens are not responsible.
I would argue you can get close enough for all practical purposes. Pulsars looked like a relatively good candidate for an alien signal when they were discovered, but given what we know now, it's very clear they are natural.  It's not hard to imagine additional observations leading us to a similarly compelling, self consistent explanation for Boyajian's star.

I think you're going to be disappointed if you think it's going to be that easy to solve this Star.

Offline gospacex

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #91 on: 01/22/2017 12:51 PM »
A civilization capable of transforming their solar system into a Dyson Sphere or Ring World will both be capable of tremendous things and have a great need for resources, but interstellar travel may be hard even for them.

Disagree. For a civilization which can do such megascale engineering, interstellar flight is nearly trivial: just build a ship big enough so that for the crew, it is no longer a vehicle they use to move from place to place, it's the place where they live. Then travel time is not a problem any more.

IOW: "spaceship Earth". (Of course, it probably can be much smaller. ~100 km asteroid-sized spacecraft/space-city should do).

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #92 on: 01/22/2017 12:54 PM »
Off the top of my head things that would be evidence for aliens.
* Evidence of the same phenomena spreading to neighbouring stars.
* Evidence in the spectra that suggests the dips are caused by something blocking the light that is highly abnormal chemically. Perhaps we can detect crystal or polymer, or just concentrations of certain elements that are highly unexpected from natural explanations
* Evidence of communication, obviously.
* Evidence that matches specific theories of how star-lifting or other mega engineering feats might be achieved. Just 'dips in the light that might be from something blocking it' is by itself very little.

I've got one to add: direct imaging of the system. If there's really a Sol sized artificial alien megastructure orbiting this star no doubt future telescopes could resolve them (maybe as soon as JWST).
« Last Edit: 01/22/2017 12:55 PM by Orbiter »
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Offline as58

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #93 on: 01/22/2017 02:09 PM »
I've got one to add: direct imaging of the system. If there's really a Sol sized artificial alien megastructure orbiting this star no doubt future telescopes could resolve them (maybe as soon as JWST).

Direct imaging is still quite far from being able to do such things. JWST doesn't even come close to having enough resolution to resolve such things at ~500 pc.

Offline TakeOff

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #94 on: 01/22/2017 03:35 PM »
A civilization capable of transforming their solar system into a Dyson Sphere or Ring World will both be capable of tremendous things and have a great need for resources, but interstellar travel may be hard even for them.

Disagree. For a civilization which can do such megascale engineering, interstellar flight is nearly trivial: just build a ship big enough so that for the crew, it is no longer a vehicle they use to move from place to place, it's the place where they live. Then travel time is not a problem any more.

IOW: "spaceship Earth". (Of course, it probably can be much smaller. ~100 km asteroid-sized spacecraft/space-city should do).
Or they never die, either naturally or by technology. Then spending 100 million years in a tin can to get to Andromeda is nothing. It is pointless to speculate, based on one unstable light curve in one telescope. It is Disneyfication of "aliens". (But I think it is telling that this speculation occurs in connection to this "light curve of hope" for the SETI seekers.)

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #95 on: 01/22/2017 07:30 PM »


Disagree. For a civilization which can do such megascale engineering, interstellar flight is nearly trivial: just build a ship big enough so that for the crew, it is no longer a vehicle they use to move from place to place, it's the place where they live. Then travel time is not a problem any more.

IOW: "spaceship Earth". (Of course, it probably can be much smaller. ~100 km asteroid-sized spacecraft/space-city should do).

Traveling to the nearest stars likely would be old hat for such a civilization.
Heck they may have even mastered relativistic ships or even some form of FTL travel.
« Last Edit: 01/22/2017 07:56 PM by Patchouli »

Offline as58

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #96 on: 01/22/2017 11:08 PM »
Could we please not turn this thread into scifi speculation about alien societies.

Offline hop

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #97 on: 01/23/2017 06:39 AM »
I think you're going to be disappointed if you think it's going to be that easy to solve this Star.
I didn't mean to imply that I expect it be easy, only that it's an outcome that doesn't require any great leap of imagination: New dips detected, big telescopes pointed at it, results clearly point to some specific natural phenomena. There's a pretty long history of astronomical mysteries turning into a clear, consistent picture once some key piece of data falls into place.

Of course, there's plenty of other possible outcomes, but the point is that there are some which would effectively remove aliens from reasonable consideration.

Offline Star One

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #98 on: 01/23/2017 06:51 AM »
I think you're going to be disappointed if you think it's going to be that easy to solve this Star.
I didn't mean to imply that I expect it be easy, only that it's an outcome that doesn't require any great leap of imagination: New dips detected, big telescopes pointed at it, results clearly point to some specific natural phenomena. There's a pretty long history of astronomical mysteries turning into a clear, consistent picture once some key piece of data falls into place.

Of course, there's plenty of other possible outcomes, but the point is that there are some which would effectively remove aliens from reasonable consideration.

But why even try and corral an explanation down one route at this stage? After all in his last paper on the subject Jason Wright still offered a variety of possible explanations.
« Last Edit: 01/23/2017 06:53 AM by Star One »

Offline gospacex

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Re: Boyajians Star Updates And Discussion
« Reply #99 on: 01/23/2017 12:45 PM »


Disagree. For a civilization which can do such megascale engineering, interstellar flight is nearly trivial: just build a ship big enough so that for the crew, it is no longer a vehicle they use to move from place to place, it's the place where they live. Then travel time is not a problem any more.

IOW: "spaceship Earth". (Of course, it probably can be much smaller. ~100 km asteroid-sized spacecraft/space-city should do).

Traveling to the nearest stars likely would be old hat for such a civilization.
Heck they may have even mastered relativistic ships or even some form of FTL travel.

That assumes that there IS a way to move FTL. It may be so that laws of physics simply don't allow it.

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