Tabby’s Star proved to be so hard to decipher that now people believe that it is actually not a star, but an alien megastructure called a Dyson sphere.
The star KIC 8462862 has a strange behavior that does not fit anything we know so far about cosmic objects and space. The star flickers and dimmers in a pattern that cannot be explained by the current astronomical models.
Scientists had studied the star for four years and explained that the luminosity of the space object had moments when it dropped by almost 20%, while its general flux of light dipped 4% from the beginning of the monitoring.
The authors say that the dimming was surprisingly non-linear and quick. When compared with the millions of years needed by a star to change its behavior, the four-year period of the monitoring becomes insignificant.
The researchers tested again and again, and verified all the data, in order to make sure that they didn’t have any errors in the measurements or their calculations. In the end, they had to admit that the star was indeed dimming its light in a very short period.
KIC 8462862 was the subject of another study published earlier this year which showed that the star had diminished its light by 19% in the last century. At that time, the scientific community was very critical of the results of that study and its conclusions had been highly disputed.
This second study comes as a confirmation for what had been already observed by the researchers from the Louisiana State University, making the star become an eccentricity in the solar system.
KIC 8462862 is located in the constellation Cygnus at 1,480 light years away from Earth. The star was first discovered in the 1980s, and it came to the attention of the public after the Planet Hunters project, when data from the Kepler Space Mission was offered to be analyzed by volunteers.
Tabby’s Star is thought to be a part of the Dyson sphere, which would presumably be an alien megastructure first described in the SF novel “Star Maker” from 1937. The device is built around a star, and it captures its energy which is in turn used by extraterrestrial life. Finding a Dyson sphere would be a major step in tracking down the civilization that is using the energy of the star.
The alien megastructure often appears in the SF literature. Usually, the engineering and gravitational details of such a device are heavily ignored, but fans like the idea to find alien life through energy sources. And maybe at one point, they will.
Image Source: Wikipedia