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Alien MegaStructure Update


‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Keeps Getting Stranger

By Mike Wall

'Alien Megastructure' Star Keeps Getting StrangerArtist’s illustration showing a cloud of comet fragments blocking light from a star — one of the possible explanations for the strange, occasional dimming of KIC 8462852, also known as “Tabby’s Star.”
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The more scientists learn about “Tabby’s Star,” the more mysterious the bizarre object gets.

Newly analyzed observations by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope show that the star KIC 8462852 — whose occasional, dramatic dips in brightness still have astronomers scratching their heads — has also dimmed overall during the last few years.

“The steady brightness change in KIC 8462852 is pretty astounding,” study lead author Ben Montet, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement. [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Alien Life]

“Our highly accurate measurements over four years demonstrate that the star really is getting fainter with time,” Montet added. “It is unprecedented for this type of star to slowly fade for years, and we don’t see anything else like it in the Kepler data.”

KIC 8462852 hit the headlines last September, when a team of astronomers led by Tabetha Boyajian of Yale University announced that the star had dimmed dramatically several times over the past few years — in one case, by a whopping 22 percent.

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Posted on October 5, 2016 by Editor

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