skip to main content

Title: PULSATION PERIOD VARIATIONS IN THE RRc LYRAE STAR KIC 5520878

Learned et al. proposed that a sufficiently advanced extra-terrestrial civilization may tickle Cepheid and RR Lyrae variable stars with a neutrino beam at the right time, thus causing them to trigger early and jogging the otherwise very regular phase of their expansion and contraction. This would turn these stars into beacons to transmit information throughout the galaxy and beyond. The idea is to search for signs of phase modulation (in the regime of short pulse duration) and patterns, which could be indicative of intentional, omnidirectional signaling. We have performed such a search among variable stars using photometric data from the Kepler space telescope. In the RRc Lyrae star KIC 5520878, we have found two such regimes of long and short pulse durations. The sequence of period lengths, expressed as time series data, is strongly autocorrelated, with correlation coefficients of prime numbers being significantly higher (p = 99.8%). Our analysis of this candidate star shows that the prime number oddity originates from two simultaneous pulsation periods and is likely of natural origin. Simple physical models elucidate the frequency content and asymmetries of the KIC 5520878 light curve. Despite this SETI null result, we encourage testing of other archival and future time-seriesmore » photometry for signs of modulated stars. This can be done as a by-product to the standard analysis, and can even be partly automated.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ; ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. Institute for Data Analysis, Luiter Str. 21b, D-47506 Neukirchen-Vluyn (Germany)
  2. High Energy Physics Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Manoa 327 Watanabe Hall, 2505 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
  3. Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (United States)
  4. School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom)
  5. Physics Department, The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH 44691 (United States)
  6. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
  7. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364727
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 798; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASYMMETRY; CEPHEIDS; CORRELATIONS; DIAGRAMS; GALAXIES; MODULATION; NEUTRINO BEAMS; PHOTOMETRY; PULSATIONS; SPACE; TELESCOPES; VARIATIONS