Revista Scientific American Mayo 2017. Inglés
Ancient Stone Tools Force Rethinking of Human Origins
Ancient stone tools from Kenya shatter the classic story of when and how humans became innovators
The desert badlands on the northwestern shores of Kenya’s Lake Turkana offer little to the people who live there. Drinking water is elusive, and most of the wild animals have declined to near oblivion. The Turkana scrape by as pastoralists, herding goats, sheep, cattle, donkeys and the occasional camel in the hot, arid countryside. It is a hard life. But millions of years ago the area brimmed with freshwater, plants and animals. It must have been paradise for the human ancestors who settled here.
KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian’s star, is a strange object discovered more than 1,000 light-years away by the planet-hunting Kepler space telescope.
The star has vexed astronomers with its dramatic and sporadic dimming, a phenomenon difficult to explain via known natural phenomena.
Disks of gas and dust, interstellar debris, comet swarms or even black holes are some of the exotic potential explanations considered by theorists.
Beyond these scenarios is the sensational possibility that the bizarre behavior of Boyajian’s star reflects the activities of an advanced cosmic civilization.
One quiet afternoon in the fall of 2014, just as the trees were changing from green to gold, Tabetha Boyajian visited our astronomy department at Pennsylvania State University to share an unusual discovery. That landscape on the brink of transformation turned out to be a fitting backdrop for a meeting that would change the course of our careers. Then a postdoctoral scholar at Yale University, Boyajian had flagged inexplicable fluctuations of light from a star monitored by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. The fluctuations looked nothing like those caused by a planet passing between the star and the telescope.
She had already ruled out other culprits, including glitches in Kepler’s hardware, and she was looking for new ideas. One of us (Wright) suggested something very unorthodox: perhaps the fluctuations in brightness were caused by alien technology.