Tabby's Star

Tabby’s Star Dimming Again

Our favorite star is at it again, KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby’s Star.  For those of you who do not know about Tabby’s Star, it is a star that does not act like other stars.  Tabby’s Star has been showing strange patterns in brightness since its discovery.  The star has strange dips in light which was initially thought to have been a planetary system, however the light dips are far too deep for that.  Others theorize that it is a massive cloud of gas or even comets, however that has now been ruled out as well.

If you want to learn more about Tabby’s Star head over to these links and get up to speed before continuing.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/tabbys-star-weird-star-gets-weirder/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KIC_8462852

Ok, now that we are all up-to-speed on Tabby’s Star, let’s discuss why it is making it into the news again.  The Kepler satellite has once again detected the dips in light after a period of around 500 days without dips.  Take a look at the image below to see why these light curves are interesting.

KIC-8462852-plots

This image shows four years of Kepler data.  As you can see there are several sporadic dips in light indicating something is blocking its light from reaching us.  Additionally, the light over the last 40-50 years has consistently dimmed at a relatively regular pace.  It is estimated that this star has lost nearly 40% of its light in that time period.  Year over year there has been a drop of around 0.3% nearly consistently.  This is strange because no other star we know of does this.

The leading theory right now is that a Dyson Sphere (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere) is being constructed around the star by an alien civilization.  This theory is being presented by scientists, no whack job cooks, or conspiracy theorists.  Scientists have run out of ways to explain this drop in light and are starting to consider the fact that this is an artificial structure.  This topic is incredibly interesting to me, one in which we will follow in the future quite closely.

My Analysis:

I tend agree that this may be an artificial structure being constructed around Tabby’s Star.  The evidence supports this theory and all other theories have fallen through in spectacular ways.  I believe that we will find other stars that are similar to Tabby’s Star in the near future and that they will all point to the same findings.

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