Although the star KIC 8462852 has baffled astronomers with its strange light patterns (so much so that they considered the origin to be massive megastructures built by alien civilizations), a recent study conducted by researchers at the SETI Institute found no indications of brief extraterrestrial laser pulses from the star. The findings come shortly after the researchers failed to find any radio signals, as previously reported by HNGN.
"The hypothesis of an alien megastructure around KIC 8462852 is rapidly crumbling apart," said Douglas Vakoch, one of the paper's authors. "We found no evidence of an advanced civilization beaming intentional laser signals toward Earth."
Due to how far away from Earth star KIC 8462852 is, different detection methods are needed in order to catch any laser pulses, according to Phys.org.
"Given the large distance to KIC 8462852, nearly 1500 light-years, any signal received on Earth today would have left the star shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire," said Marlin Schuetz, one of the paper's authors. "We need a sensitive way to detect any laser pulses that have traveled that far."
The study utilized a 0.5 m Newtonian telescope with a unique detection method that gives it an increased sensitivity to pulsed signals. Any extraterrestrial laser pulses that were beamed towards Earth would have been detected if they fell into the visible spectrum and above the observatory's minimum detection limit.
If any extraterrestrial signals are detected in the future, this unique detection method will need to be utilized by multiple observatories in order to ensure that quick follow-up detection can be conducted after intial findings.
"If some day we really detect a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization, we need to be ready to follow up at observatories around the world, as quickly as possible," said Vakoch.