The Confounding Tabby's Star's. Bob Zimmerman BehindtheBlack.com

Jan 07, 03:16 AM
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The Confounding Tabby's Star's. Bob Zimmerman BehindtheBlack.com

New observations of Tabby’s Star now suggests that it is dust, not alien megastructures, that has caused the star’s erratic fluctuations in dimming over the past century.

“Dust is most likely the reason why the star’s light appears to dim and brighten. The new data shows that different colors of light are being blocked at different intensities. Therefore, whatever is passing between us and the star is not opaque, as would be expected from a planet or alien megastructure,” said [LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Assistant Professor Tabetha Boyajian].

Though the data appear strong, it still leaves astronomers a bit baffled about how dust could cause the particular dimming they have seen.

http://behindtheblack.com/?s=tabby%27s+star

KIC 8462852 (also Tabby's Star or Boyajian's Star) is an F-type main-sequence star located in the constellation Cygnus approximately 1,280 light-years (390 pc) from Earth. Unusual light fluctuations of the star, including up to a 22% dimming in brightness, were discovered by citizen scientists as part of the Planet Hunters project, and, in September 2015, astronomers and citizen scientists associated with the project posted a preprint of an article describing the data and possible interpretations.[1] The discovery was made from data collected by the Kepler space telescope, which observes changes in the brightness of distant stars to detect exoplanets. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the star's large irregular changes in brightness as measured by its light curve, but none to date fully explain all aspects of the curve.