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Comets can't explain 'alien structure' star


Posted on Sunday, 17 January, 2016 | Comment icon 380 comments

The cause of the anomalous readings continue to remain a mystery. Image Credit: NASA / Rick Guidice
An astronomical anomaly thought by some to be an 'alien megastructure' has continued to defy explanation.
Originally picked up between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra by the Kepler Space Telescope in 2009, the star known as KIC 8462852 has long proven something of an enigma to astronomers.

Unlike most other planet-hosting stars which exhibit slight periodic dips when their planets pass in front of them, this one seemed to be exhibiting extremely erratic dips indicative of a large, tightly packed assortment of matter in orbit around it.

Back in October, astronomer Jason Wright suggested that this could indicate the presence of a 'megastructure' in space - one built by an advanced alien civilization - an idea that had been previously put forward by SETI in relation to its hunt for signs of intelligent extraterrestrials.

Later reports attempted to play down this idea by suggesting that the anomaly was instead a cloud of comets in orbit around KIC 8462852, but now a renewed research effort has discovered that the star had actually been dimming gradually for over a century - a fact which seems to discount the comet theory and leaves astronomers once again scratching their heads.

"The comet-family idea was reasonably put forth as the best of the proposals, even while acknowledging that they all were a poor lot," said astrophysicist Bradley Schaefer.

"But now we have a refutation of the idea, and indeed, of all published ideas."

Source: New Scientist | Comments (380)

Tags: Star, Extraterrestrial, Megastructure

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #371 Posted by badeskov on 9 October, 2017, 20:56
What does that have to do with NASA?
Comment icon #372 Posted by Golden Duck on 10 October, 2017, 2:51
Belgian AstroLAB IRIS Spelling mistake? Benefit of the fanciful doubt?
Comment icon #373 Posted by Merc14 on 10 October, 2017, 3:26
I just want to say that NO reputable scientist or organization ever claimed to know what this was. The postulated and offered what-ifs and, IMHO, oped we were all educated enough to know that was what they were doing and would enjoy the fun until more data came in. I think,for the most part, most of us got it and enjoyed indulging our fantasies while waiting for more inf to come in but we have our hard core ignorant that never seem to disappear My question is, is that ignorant coalition growing of shrinking? We have just one here but maybe we have scared the rest away so isthe world gett... [More]
Comment icon #374 Posted by qxcontinuum on 10 October, 2017, 13:43
well "we suspect to be a large cloud of dust" is different than;we observed or we saw a large cloud of dust ! ...
Comment icon #375 Posted by Golden Duck on 10 October, 2017, 23:38
Yeah... but, that suspicion is based on a "smoking gun"... http://www.newsnation.in/science-news/aliens-megastructure-mystery-star-tabetha-boyajian-may-finally-be-settled-nasas-scientist-shocked-article-183932.html So what is your contention with "the smoking gun"?
Comment icon #376 Posted by Merc14 on 11 October, 2017, 0:35
You are truly one of a kind qx.
Comment icon #377 Posted by bison on 11 October, 2017, 1:08
The authors of the scientific paperwhich revealsa dust-like spectrum for the gradual, long term dimming, are careful to admit that this does not explainthe star's large, intermittant dips in brightness. Dust that remains in denseclumps, whichthis sort of dimming would require, is difficultto explain as an astrophysical phenomenon.
Comment icon #378 Posted by Chrismoh67 on 14 October, 2017, 15:51
what about aliens instead of alien megastructure?what about some sort of space algae,or a swarm of creatures that feed of the energy of the star.unlikely,but haven't heard that theory.
Comment icon #379 Posted by micky 32 on 14 October, 2017, 20:39
So the conclusion definately nothing to do with aliens? Shame... oh well,
Comment icon #380 Posted by Adampadum123 on 15 October, 2017, 1:09
It's definitely unusual.but without further evidence and study it's all just guess work.whos to say it's not an alien racethrowing a massive party


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