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'Alien megastructure' star is still a mystery


Posted on Monday, 8 August, 2016 | Comment icon 280 comments

Is there an alien structure around KIC 8462852 ? Image Credit: NASA / Rick Guidice
Astronomers are no closer to explaining the erratic behavior of this perplexing stellar phenomenon.
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.

In a recent study, astronomers Ben Montet and Joshua Simon scoured through all of the data recorded by the Kepler telescope to find traces of this particular star for comparison and analysis.

They determined that the star's dimming seemed to occur at 0.34% per year to begin with, yet inexplicably fell to 2.5% for 200 days before returning to its original dimming rate.

The pair even tried analyzing hundreds of other similar and nearby stars to look for the same type of behavior but were unable to find anything else like it at all.

So what could possibly be responsible for these peculiar observations ?

Some scientists have put forward the theory that a vast cloud of dust or comets may be gradually falling towards the star, however others have pointed out that such a cloud should have shown up on infra-red scans and no evidence of anything like this has ever been found.

More 'out there' theories have included the possibility that the phenomenon is the result of a large artificial structure in orbit around the star - an alien megastructure such as a Dyson Sphere.

SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence ) has even attempted to look for evidence of artificial laser light within the star's vicinity but so far their efforts have come up empty.

As it stands, KIC 8462852's peculiar dimming continues to remain a total mystery.

"We spent a long time trying to convince ourselves this wasn’t real," said Montet.

"We just weren’t able to."

Source: News.com.au | Comments (280)

Tags: Star, Megastructure


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #271 Posted by Merc14 on 10 August, 2016, 3:00
I have no idea what you are saying.  There is nothing that this star has to do with our obscure arm of the galaxy and we have no idea what the cause of these odd observations are but the lack of "ships and bones" is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever read on this forum and that is saying something.  Why ITF would a species from nearly 1500 light years away visited this tiny little planet and left "ships and bones"?  Who in the real world thinks that ships and bones on this planet is the only proof of life off of this planet?  Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? 
Comment icon #272 Posted by docyabut2 on 10 August, 2016, 3:06
Who in the real world thinks that ships and bones on this planet is the only proof of life off of this planet? dud:) We have many bones and ships of transportation  of humans on  this planet .
Comment icon #273 Posted by docyabut2 on 10 August, 2016, 3:08
 
Comment icon #274 Posted by Merc14 on 10 August, 2016, 3:21
  Umm?  Sober up mate and report back. 
Comment icon #275 Posted by Breez on 10 August, 2016, 3:42
It's a Death Star.
Comment icon #276 Posted by Merc14 on 10 August, 2016, 4:01
Well then I know how to destroy it,  There is a small exhaust port....
Comment icon #277 Posted by psyche101 on 10 August, 2016, 4:09
Sorry, but that is nonsense on both counts. For one, yet again for the second time today, KIC 8462852 is estimated to be 454 parsecs away from Earth, The star is showing an unusual dimming pattern and we are speculating as to why that is, one idea put forward is a Dyson Sphere, which is an theoretical artificially structured sphere encompassing a star to capture it' energy.  That has absolutely nothing to do with earth, anyone visiting earth, or spaceships on earth. If spaceships are at KIC 8462852 we will not be able to see that, and as far as I know, nobody is claiming otherwise.  Aliens are... [More]
Comment icon #278 Posted by ChrLzs on 10 August, 2016, 4:11
   
Comment icon #279 Posted by psyche101 on 10 August, 2016, 4:12
Entirely possible too, I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home.
Comment icon #280 Posted by JesseCuster on 10 August, 2016, 17:59
What are you actually talking about?  Who said anything about bones or ships as having anything to do with the phenomenon surrounding this star?


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