The star KIC 8462852 once believed to be an alien mega-structure, has been dimming for over a century.
A few years ago the star KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby's Star was found. The star was found to have unusual light fluctuations. The fluctuations were found by the online astronomy crowdsourcing site Planet Hunter.
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Numerous theories surrounding the star system came up. Including the ‘Alien Mega-structure’ one four years ago. Well data from the past four years has shown the star is just as mysterious as ever.
The KIC 8462852 star system lies about 1,500 light years away from the earth. New analysis of the star system shows it has been gradually dimming for more than a century. The dimming is also not caused by a cloud of orbiting comets.
The new analysis was carried out by Bradley Schaefer. Schaefer is a physics and astronomy professor at Louisiana State University. Schaefer examined data from a Harvard University archive.
The archives contained digitally scanned photographic plates of the sky dating back more than a century. "This star's dimming is unique and inexplicable," Schaefer told CNN.
Schaefer found the star system also dimmed between 1890 and 1989. According to Schaefer, the dimming is unique and inexplicable. Since the Tabby's Star is an F-type main sequence star, the dimming is more baffling. F-type stars do not dim by 20%, as Tabby's Star has shown.
The data from the plates was also examined by Yale postdoctoral astronomy fellow Tabetha Boyajian. Boyajian and team also published a paper theorizing the dimming light could be from comet fragments.
However Schaefer does not support the theory. According to Schaefer, a century-long dimming trend requires an estimated 648,000 giant comets. So the probability is highly unlikely.
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The Tabby Star was also monitored by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI). The SETI soon revealed they did not receive any radio signals from the star system.