If you are a space enthusiast then you probably remember a time when the science community was obsessed with KIC 8462852, a distant star with a fluctuating light pattern. Many were fascinated with the mysterious object, some even theorizing that if could be an “alien megastructure.”
Well KIC 8462852, or more affectionately called Tabby’s Star, has captured the science community’s imagination once again. The star has dimmed by almost 10 percent, breaking the record for the deepest dip since the Kepler telescope began collecting data.
According to an observation blog by the Louisiana State University astrophysics who discovered the star, there was a smaller dip (about 4 percent) in March, it returned to normal than started dimming again.
So, what does it all mean? Short answer: aliens. Accurate answer: no one really knows.
The highly irregular pattern of Tabby’s Star suggests that it is not being caused by a planet passing in front. The star also has gone through periods of significant brightening in the past.
Of course, there was a short time when it was suggested a super alien structure was causing the regular dimming (because of course the first answer is always: aliens). Other theories includes a ringed planet passing in front of the star, comets, space junk, or a star swallowing a planet.
According to Sciencealert, the current leading explanation is that an uneven cloud of dust swirling around the star is causing the irregular dimming.
Whatever is causing this phenomenon, one thing is clear; it’s got to be aliens. Right?