Searching for a Tabby’s Star Theory. Bob Zimmerman BehindtheBlack.com.

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01-11-2017

(Photo: Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Green Bank, West Virginia)

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Searching for a Tabby’s Star Theory. Bob Zimmerman BehindtheBlack.com.

Could Tabby’s Star have eaten a planet?

A new theory has been proposed by astronomers to explain the unprecedented dimming of Tabby’s Star, and it isn’t an alien civilization.

If Tabby’s star devoured a planet in the past, the planet’s energy would have made the star temporarily brighten, then gradually dim to its original state. The bigger the planet was, the longer the star would take to dim. Depending on the size of the planet, this event could have happened anywhere between 200 and 10,000 years ago.

As the planet fell into its star, it could have been ripped apart or had its moons stripped away, leaving clouds of debris orbiting the star in eccentric orbits. Every time the debris passes between us and the star, it would block some light, making the star seem to blink.

If true, this theory would suggest that such events can happen more than scientists has expected. Moreover, this theory can be tested during future observations when the star experiences its next dimming.

If Tabby’s star devoured a planet in the past, the planet’s energy would have made the star temporarily brighten, then gradually dim to its original state. The bigger the planet was, the longer the star would take to dim. Depending on the size of the planet, this event could have happened anywhere between 200 and 10,000 years ago.

As the planet fell into its star, it could have been ripped apart or had its moons stripped away, leaving clouds of debris orbiting the star in eccentric orbits. Every time the debris passes between us and the star, it would block some light, making the star seem to blink.

If this is true, these sorts of collisions might be much more common than we expected. “We estimated that if Tabby’s star were representative, something like 10 Jupiters would have to fall into a typical star over its lifetime, or maybe even more,” says Metzger – and that number grows into the thousands if the objects are smaller.

Next time we see the light from Tabby’s star dip, Metzger hopes that astronomers will be able to see signatures of planetary debris passing close to the star. “These transits only last a few days, so when we see one, we have to alert all the telescopes and basically point every telescope we have at Tabby’s star,” he says.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2117459-alien-megastructure-signal-may-be-due-to-star-eating-a-planet/

Jan 12, 07:34 AM
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