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Scientists Unfolds The Mysterious Dimming Of Tabby's Star; It Is Not An Alien Megastructure

by Elon A. / Oct 07, 2017 06:43 AM EDT
Tabby's Star: Berkeley investigates mysterious star

Scientists have formerly discovered an unusual star that dramatically dips in brightness. It has stirred up multiple theories. For some, they have claimed that it is an "alien megastructure." However, a recent study suggests that the real cause of this dimming star may be far from the ordinary. 

The scientists named this controversial star Tabby Star. Thus, the data from the Spitzer and Swift missions from NASA together with the Belgian AstroLab Iris observatory have revealed that the ultraviolet light from the star is dimming more that its infrared during these events. The experts said that this could mean something much smaller the proposed Dyson Sphere must be to blame.  

The lead author of the study, Huan Meng from the University of Arizona, Tucson debunks the Alien theory. He said that "this pretty much rules out the alien megastructure theory. We suspect, instead, there is a cloud of dust orbiting the star with a roughly 700-day orbital period," according to Daily Mail

The researchers link this type of non-uniform dimming to the effects seen on Earth every day. Thus, the sun appears to look red at sunset because the blue and ultraviolet light are scattered by the tiny particles.

 As follows, the new study that has been published in the Astrophysical Journal, the research team estimates the object that causes the mysterious dimming of the Tabby Star is no more than a few centimeters wide.The particles will be more or less be larger than the interstellar dust. 

Meanwhile, while the study authors have a good idea why the Tabby Star dims on a long-term basis, they were not able to address the shorter-term dimming events that happened in three-day spurts in 2017. They also did not confront the mystery of the major 20-percent dips in brightness that the Kelper was able to observe while studying the field of Cygnus, the primary mission. 

Thus, an AstroLAB volunteer who holds a Ph.D. in physics, Siegfried Vanaverbeke became interested in the study back in 2016. He then persuaded Dubois, Logie, and Rau to use AstroLab to observe it. He shared that "Tabby's Star could have something like a solar activity cycle. This is something that needs further investigation and will continue to interest scientists for many years to come."

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