Last year, scientists noticed that light from the star KIC 8462852 was fluctuating randomly and dipping in intensity by as much as 22%. Some things or objects seem to be passing in front of the stars as Earth’s telescope was looking at KIC 8462852. This was a big mystery and some postulated that this might be due to structures around the star built by an alien civilization.
Other scientists proposed a more believable hypothesis that the fluctuations were caused by swarms of comet passing in front of the stars, which were picked up by our telescopes.
Just recently, Professor Bradley Schaefer of Louisiana State University published his findings that have added to the mystery. According to Schaefer, KIC 8462852 has been dimming from the period 1890 to 1989. This is unprecedented for this type of star. Moreover, if the dimming were caused by comets, it would take 648,000 giant comets all passing in front of the star over the last century while Earth’s telescopes detected them.
So now it doesn’t look like comets are causing the dimming. So, is it really aliens?
Photo credit: flickr.com