Tags: alien mega-structure | building | light curve | tabby star

Penn State Astronomer: Light Curve Possible 'Alien Mega-Structure' Being Built

Penn State Astronomer: Light Curve Possible 'Alien Mega-Structure' Being Built

By    |   Sunday, 07 August 2016 02:50 PM

A far-away star exhibiting strange fluctuations in its light that's intrigued astronomers for nearly a year has now been found to dimming in just as dramatic a fashion, reports say.

The star, KIC 8462852 — nicknamed "Tabby's Star" after one of its co-founders Tabetha Boyajian — which is 1,480 light-years away and was observed by NASA's Kepler mission, set off speculation last October when Yale scientists found an unusual transit signal, known as a "light curve," Seeker reports. 

Something passed in front of the star, dimming its light by 20 percent, Seeker reports; speculation focused on the possibility of a swarm of comets passing in front of the star, or a debris cloud from a planetary smashup.

But Penn State University astronomer Jason Wright speculated, in an interview with the Atlantic, the peculiar signals could indicate an "alien megastructure" in the process of being built.

It was the findings of astronomers Ben Montet from Caltech and and Joshua Simon from the Carnegie Institute — detailing observations of the star since the Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009 — that found yet another surprise, Seeker notes.

The pair found the star showed an unprecedented dimming of 3.5 percent over the period — something not seen in any of the other 500 stars in the vicinity.

"The part that really surprised me was just how rapid and non-linear it was," Montet tells Gizmodo. 

"'We spent a long time trying to convince ourselves this wasn't real. We just weren't able to."

"These results introduce us to another delightfully unexpected piece of the puzzle," Boyajian tells Popular Science. 

Seeker notes, however, Wright's speculation is still on the table, since no studies so far "have been able to shake Wright's early speculation that some alien civilization could be constructing a massive star-encompassing structure."

The mystery of what is causing the light flickers is now the focus of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to investigate the star, the Daily Mail reports.

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A far-away star exhibiting strange fluctuations in its light that's intrigued astronomers for nearly a year has now been found to dimming in just as dramatic a fashion, reports say.The star, KIC 8462852 -nicknamed Tabby's Star after one of its co-founders Tabetha Boyajian...
alien mega-structure, building, light curve, tabby star
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2016-50-07
Sunday, 07 August 2016 02:50 PM
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