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Could Kepler Detect Borg Cubes? Why Not.

19 May 2011, 08:31 UTC
Could Kepler Detect Borg Cubes? Why Not.
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Assuming Star Trek‘s Borg Collective went into overdrive and decided to build a huge cube a few thousand miles wide, then yes, the exoplanet-hunting Kepler space telescope should be able to spot it. But how could Kepler distinguish a cube from a nice spherical exoplanet? With the help of Ray Villard over at Discovery News, [...]

"That's no sunspot."
Assuming Star Trek‘s Borg Collective went into overdrive and decided to build a huge cube a few thousand miles wide, then yes, the exoplanet-hunting Kepler space telescope should be able to spot it. But how could Kepler distinguish a cube from a nice spherical exoplanet?
With the help of Ray Villard over at Discovery News, he did some digging and found a paper dating back to 2005 — long before Kepler was launched. However, researcher Luc Arnold, of the Observatoire de Haute-Provence in Paris, did have the space telescope in mind when he studied what it would take to distinguish different hypothetical shapes as they passed in front of his theoretical stars.
The big assumption when looking for exoplanets that drift between distant stars and the Earth — events known as “transits” — is that the only shape these detectable ...

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