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Nordita Astrophysics seminars

Data mining for "impossible" astrophysical effects

by Beatriz Villarroel Rodriguez (Uppsala University)

122:026 ()


In the era of large astronomical surveys, it is now possible to efficiently search for objects having certain predicted signatures of astro-engineering, like Dyson spheres. However, these signatures can often be confused with signatures from normal astrophysical sources e.g. dust, making it difficult to identify the true underlying cause of the observed signatures, especially for galaxies. We propose to replace the search for signatures of astro-engineering with a search for “physically impossible” (or extremely improbable) effects. Such an approach can teach us about presently unknown physical phenomena or – in the most favorable of circumstances – identify interesting SETI targets for radio observations. In this talk, I present a study where we search for signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence by scanning for objects that disappeared from the sky during the last decades. I will present the preliminary results from the project, discuss the ongoing work and our future plans.