Ina recent research, Scientists have finally managed to uncover the cloud of suspense from the mysterious KIC 8462852, known as the Boyajian’s star or the Tabby’s Star. The star which some scientists called as the ‘Alien Megastructure’, was first discovered in 2015 and was seen undergoing strange and sudden dips in brightness.
It was believed that the star might harbor an alien race inside it and might have built a giant contraption or megastructure which could have harvested the energy of the star causing its brightness to decrease. And some researchers thought that the star might have swallowed a planet that was unstable. But a new study has revealed that the cause of this unusual dinning over long periods is likely due to an uneven dust cloud moving around the star and not the previously thought ‘alien megastructure.’
The study titled Extinction and Dimming of KIC 8462852′, was led by Huan Y.A. Meng of the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona. Meng and his team collected data about the mysterious star with the help of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst mission. The Spitzer Telescope collected observations regarding the infrared band, and the Swift collected data in the ultraviolet band. And then this data was compared with the visible light gathered by the AstroLAB ORIS’s 68-cm (27-inch reflecting telescope.
After analyzing the data, the scientists got to know that KIC 8462852 experienced less dimming in the infrared band than in the ultraviolet and they concluded that the size of the material revolving in front the star was about few micrometers (about one ten-thousands of an inch) in diameter just like a dust particle. Any object larger than those dust particles would cause the light to dim equally across all wavelengths.
DR. Meng told that this current discovery of dust particles rules out the megastructure theory, as that could not explain the wavelength-dependent dimming. He also informed that cloud of dusting was orbiting the star with a roughly 700-day orbital period.” The study was published in the journal The Astrophysical Journal.