Calling all space aliens on the new Cepheid phone
The authors continue to state in their abstract, “Records exist of Cepheids for well over one hundred years. We propose that these (and other regularly variable types of stars) be searched for signs of phase modulation (in the regime of short pulse duration) and patterns, which could be indicative of intentional signaling.”
The entire article can be downloaded as a pdf file.
Within the paper, the authors propose that a “small depositions of energy can lead to runaway conditions” within Cepheid variables.
They say that a delivery of a “relatively small amount of energy” could change a Cepheid’s cycle.
They go on to say, “Neutrinos would seem to be the ideal delivery means for transporting a pulse of energy to the stellar core, both due to penetration ability and to speed. If one wanted to employ infalling material as the trigger, this disturbance would propagate at near the local speed of sound, and might well evaporate prior to reaching the core in any event."
The astronomers have not determined how much energy it would take to make a Cepheid into a calling card to extraterrestrial life forms.
They do make a vague guess when they say, “Without detailed stellar modeling, we cannot make precise estimates of the amount of energy needed to trigger the Cepheid. A brute force upper limit would be the addition of some reasonable fraction of the core energy production over a time scale of the speed of sound traversing the core. Let us suppose that the pulse needs to be delivered in less than a second, and should be 10% or more of the stellar output. If we take the Cepheid period to be 100,000 seconds, then the average power input in neutrinos should be about 10-6 of the stellar output."
However, they do admit it is much too early to make any valid energy estimates.
They conclude in their paper: "To summarize, in this note, we point out that that unstable stellar systems such as the Cepheids present an exciting opportunity to serve as gigantic signal amplifiers. We presume that a sufficiently advanced civilization will actually be able to tickle stars and we further speculate that they would find it worthwhile to use Cepheids as signaling devices.”
And, “We propose that there may well be signatures of ETI [extraterrestrial intelligence] communication available in data already recorded, and that a search of Cepheid (and perhaps other variable star, such as Lyrae) records may reveal an entre into the galactic internet! It may be a long shot, but should it be correct, the payoff would be immeasurable for humanity."
They finally stated, "The beauty of this suggestion seems to be simply that the data already exists, and we need only look at the data in a new way.”
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William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University