Aliens may be alive on a far distant planet in another galaxy that gets power from solar energy; that's according to Professor Brian Cox, one of the UK's most well respected authorities on the wonders of the universe.
The TV presenter and particle physics professor in the school of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester was speaking on BBC Radio 6 Music about strange flashes which were recently spotted emanating from a star which was creatively given the name KIC 846 2852.
They were spotted by stargazers who thus far have not found any solid explanation for the weird phenomenon.
Scientists have been able to rule that another planet passing in front of the star could be causing the flashes and to date no other explanation has been found, leading them to believe that the flashes may be caused either by rocks in space that block out light intermittently or (more outlandishly) by a giant alien mega-structure.
In an interview on the radio Professor Cox posited that one potential cause for the flickers and flashes which have been seen is that an alien race has a solar farm and is currently using advanced solar panels as a means to convert light - it's one of the most prevalent sources of energy in the universe.
The scientist said that there was a possibility that the flashes were something called a Dyson sphere. This would mean that an advanced civilisation out there has essentially surrounded a star close to their planet in a spherical net of solar panels. These would be able to wring every last ounce of solar power from a star and allow them to build a very large space-faring civilisation nearby.
Brian Cox said, "I emphasise, it probably isn’t solar panels, but it’s data that isn’t explained at the moment and it wouldn’t be horrendously surprising if it turned out there was an advanced alien civilisation there that was way ahead of us and had built some big solar panels. I wouldn’t go “that’s impossible”, it isn’t."
It's just further proof that this type of renewable energy is clearly the way forward - if it's plausible that an advanced alien civilisation is using it as a power source, that's good enough for us!