Friday, February 23, 2024
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
Unexplained Mysteries
You are viewing: Home > News > Extraterrestrial > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
All ▾
Search Submit


Could dust explain 'alien megastructure' star ?

By T.K. Randall
October 5, 2017 · Comment icon 380 comments

Is there a massive alien structure orbiting Tabby's Star ? Image Credit: NASA / Rick Guidice
A new study has cast doubt on the idea that astronomers have discovered a large alien structure in space.
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 to be something of an enigma.

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

The phenomenon gained particular fame when astronomer Jason Wright suggested that one possible explanation for it was the presence of a gigantic extraterrestrial structure in space.
Now though, a new study has cast serious doubt on this possibility and suggests instead that the star's peculiar dimming behavior is actually down to a large cloud of dust particles orbiting around it.

It turns out that the dimming is a lot more pronounced in ultraviolet light than it is in infrared light, something that should not happen if a large object is responsible.

"This pretty much rules out the alien megastructure theory, as that could not explain the wavelength-dependent dimming," said lead author Huan Meng of the University of Arizona.

"We suspect, instead, there is a cloud of dust orbiting the star with a roughly 700-day orbital period."

Source: Scientific American | Comments (380)

Other news and articles
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #371 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
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 is the worl... [More]
Comment icon #372 Posted by qxcontinuum 6 years ago
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 #373 Posted by Golden Duck 6 years ago
Yeah... but, that suspicion is based on a "smoking gun"... So what is your contention with "the smoking gun"?
Comment icon #374 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
You are truly one of a kind qx.   
Comment icon #375 Posted by bison 6 years ago
The authors of the scientific paper which reveals a dust-like spectrum for the gradual, long term dimming, are careful to admit that this does not explain the star's large, intermittant dips in brightness. Dust that remains in dense clumps, which this sort of dimming would require, is difficult to explain as an astrophysical phenomenon.      
Comment icon #376 Posted by Chrismoh67 6 years ago
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 #377 Posted by micky 32 6 years ago
So the conclusion definately nothing to do with aliens? Shame... oh well,
Comment icon #378 Posted by Adampadum123 6 years ago
It's definitely unusual.but without further evidence and study it's all just guess work.whos to say it's not an alien race throwing a massive party 
Comment icon #379 Posted by Orphalesion 6 years ago
Well poop, would have been exiting if it really had been some alien mega structure. Of course this was always the most likely outcome, still it's fun to hope and be exited.
Comment icon #380 Posted by odiesbsc 6 years ago
It's just like our sun. you can see it in the daytime and can't see it at night. So Where's the mystery? Foolishness off...

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

Our new book is out now!
Book cover

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News


Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!
Patreon logo

Support us on Patreon


For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

Top 10 trending mysteries
Recent news and articles