Sci-tech

The weirdest star in space is acting weird again. Is it aliens?

The weirdest star in space is acting weird again. Is it aliens?”

Amateur and professional astronomers alike are scrambling to figure out why the celestial body known as KIC 8462852, or Boyajian's star, is acting so weird.

The Milky Way's most mysterious "alien megastructure" star, also known as Tabby Star - named after Tabetha Boyajian, lead researcher of the team that observed the celestial body in 2015 - has been an object of intrigue due to its odd nature.

Most scientists, including Wright and Boyajian, don't think it's very likely that there is an alien civilization building planet-size structures around one of their stars.

"Something that we've been waiting for, for the past four years has finally started to happen again", said Tabby Boyajian, the astrophysicist at Louisiana State University who discovered the star, in a Youtube event over the weekend. In the past, the star's brightness has dipped by about 20%.

National Geographic said the star has baffled astronomers because its light has dimmed as much as 22 percent before returning to its usual brightness, a behavior not previously seen in other stars. They are now monitoring the star and verifying its light curve, according to the Universe Today report. One astronomer thinks that a Dyson Sphere is causing the unusual dips, thereby nicknaming Tabby's Star as the "alien megastructure" star. One star, KIC 8462852, behaved like no other.

Now, there is now a lot more data to use, but it would take time for researchers to fully consider what the information could tell us about Tabby's Star. The most famous theory so far is that the dimming is caused by an "alien megastructure" orbiting the star and collecting stellar energy. If there is gas in that dust, that gas should absorb very specific wavelengths and we should be able to see that. So we need to have a network of people around the world'.

In response to the call, the twin 10-meter telescopes at the W.H. Keck Observatory in Hawaii have been trained on the star, as has the Breakthrough Listen Initiative's Automated Planet Finder telescope at Lick Observatory in California.

That's a big deal, because it means scientists can target the star with a number of telescopes that operate at a variety of ranges across the light spectrum. "There's a palpable tension".

She explained that the reason astronomers are interested in demonstrating periodicity in the dimming events, because that improves the case that there's something orbiting it (rather than occlusions being caused by something between Earth and the star).

Breakthrough and the Berkeley center are now trying to get some observing time on the Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia, according to Siemion.

Header Image: An illustration depicts what Boyajian's star may look like.



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