The “Alien Megastructure” debate has yet to end.
Late in 2015 it was reported that Tabby’s star (KIC 8462852) was seen exhibiting massive dips in it’s brightness. This phenomena is extremely un-natural and could indicate a wide range of possibilities. It could be an object blocking the star’s light path to Earth, some unknown process going on with the star itself that would cause it to rapidly flicker, or any number of other untold theories.
The star is named after Dr Tabetha Boyajian who authored the first study on this unusual event. Recently, both Boyajian and Jason Wright have pointed out that the star is once again dipping, causing an uproar in the astronomical community:
ALERT:@tsboyajian‘s star is dipping
This is not a drill.
Astro tweeps on telescopes in the next 48 hours: spectra please!
— Jason Wright (@Astro_Wright) May 19, 2017
— Tabetha Boyajian (@tsboyajian) May 21, 2017
As explained, we have a wide range of possibilities for what could be causing this phenomena. But, there’s a catch – not one of these theories truly seems plausible. In order for this event to be caused by comets, a significant and never before seen amount of debris would need to be surrounding the planet – which does not make sense as Tabby’s F-Star classification is seen as stable. The ‘Alien Megastructure’ argument has no supporting evidence either, as we’ve yet to detect any unusual heat fluctuations from the event itself.
Scientists, astronomers, and the public will be left guessing as to the origin of the flicker until we get some concrete evidence of it’s source.