Researchers say aliens aren't causing Tabby's Star to dim after all

From Engadget - January 3, 2018

Last May, after beginning regular monitoring of the star in March of 2016, the researchers finally spotted the star's characteristic dipping in brightness and ultimately observed four major episodes of dimming. While they were not able to determine what exactly is causing the dips, the researchers were able to rule out quite a few theories with the data they collected. And I am sorry to disappoint those who were rooting for it to be an alien megastructure, but it's almost certainly not that. If a solid, opaque structure was causing the changes in brightness, those changes should be consistent across all wavelengths of light, but that was not the case. "Dust is most likely the reason why the star's light appears to dim and brighten. The new data shows that different colors of light are being blocked at different intensities. Therefore, whatever is passing between us and the star is not opaque, as would be expected from a planet or alien megastructure," Boyajian said in a statement.

Observations of the dimming events were made with a number of different telescopes around the world, resulting in a flood of data. "It's exciting. I am so appreciative of all of the people who have contributed to this in the past year -- the citizen scientists and professional astronomers. It's quite humbling to have all of these people contributing in various ways to help figure it out," said Boyajian.


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