The secret of the star Tabbi: no aliens, sorry


The most strange and perhaps the most mysterious star in the known universe has many names, but it is very likely that it will soon lose the most "unscientific". KIC 8462852, the same star of Tabbi, who is also a "star with a foreign megastructure", has become one of the most debated in 2017. However, the results of the new study, initiated by herself Tabeta Boyajyan - a astronomer who first noticed the unusual behavior of the star in 2015 - say that the speech is certainly not on a foreign megastructure.

In fact, the star KIC 8462852 was first observed by astronomers in the 19th century and appeared several times in various astronomical studies thereafter. However, the highlight of his speech was in 2015, when Boyadjian and his research colleagues reported very strange indicators of the detected data collected by the Kepler Space Observatory.

All the stars are twinkling. The observation of this phenomenon from the Earth can be explained by the particularity of the interaction of the light of the stars with the atmosphere of our planet. In space, this phenomenon can be immediately due to a number of factors. For example, one of these factors is the transit of planets passing between their native stars and the field of our observation. As a result, we can observe a short-term decrease in brightness, which, as a rule, does not have very high values ​​- about 1%. By the way, thanks to this transit, astronomers are usually looking for new exoplanets.


But with star KIC 8462852 everything turned out quite differently. The team of Tabate Boyajyan has found that the changes in the brightness of the star, which is about 1280 light years away from us, are not only significant - they are huge. Astronomers have witnessed a decrease in the brightness of the star up to 22%, and finding an appropriate explanation for this phenomenon has proved extremely difficult. For that, none of the known factors simply suited us. At least for the moment.

It would be possible to erase everything on the transit of a planet that revolves around the star, but the periodicity of the brightness variation of KIC 8462852 was unstable, which put an end to this assumption.

Another supposed explanation was the participation of a certain swarm of comets and other interstellar debris. Some scientists have advanced the theory that the peculiarity of such a strange behavior of a star may be related to its own internal processes occurring inside KIC 8462852 - so-called it is in a kind of transition period. Another hypothesis was that the star could devour the planet, and a decrease in brightness could cause debris on this planet.

In the end, a very futuristic hypothesis has been put forward - for all this observable "magic" there may be an extraterrestrial extraterrestrial megastructure surrounding the star. Apparently, the aliens have built around the star a sort of Dyson sphere that collects energy from light and, at the expense of its size, occasionally blocks us a tremendous amount of light KIC 8462852.

While other astronomers were trying to find a reasonable explanation for the anomalies observed, the Boyadjian team ran a successful fundraising campaign on the Kickstarter site and rented an observatory for a more detailed study of the KIC star. 8462852. The results of the work were shared by scientists in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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"We were hoping that if we saw the flicker in real time, we could determine the depth in all the frequency bands," says a member of the astronomer team, Jason Wright of the University of Pennsylvania (USA). ).

    "If the depth of these flickering turns out to be almost the same, it looks like the cause of gradation is something opaque, a kind of disc, maybe a planet or a star, or maybe even something something bigger in space. "

But astronomers, as well as proponents of the hypothesis of a foreign megastructure, were disappointed.

Four light-diminishing episodes were observed by researchers at the Las Cumbres Observatory in California between March 2016 and December 2017. The multispectral light analysis of KIC 8462852 showed that the brightness in some wavebands decreases more. than in others.

    "The new data shows that different light waves are blocked with different intensities, so, whatever happens between us and the star - it does not have complete opacity, as one would expect from a planet or some kind of extraterrestrial megastructure, "Boyajyan said.

Although the most desired explanation for the unusual behavior of star KIC 8462852 after such findings will have to be eliminated, we still have no answer to the question of exactly what causes such an unusual change in the brightness of this star. Yes, the extraterrestrial megastructure is not a cause, but something like that should explain such a significant decrease in brightness. It could be dust, comets, a kind of interstellar junk bin. From this, the mystery of the Tabby star does not become less interesting. No, of course, it comes back, but scientists still really want to find the real reason for abnormal behavior. Especially when I was already spending a lot of time, money and nerve cells.

    "The latest study ignores the option with external mega-structure, but at the same time leaves many questions and possibilities for the presence of other phenomena that could be behind this decrease in the brightness of the stars," says Wright.

What exactly are the phenomena? Scientists do not yet have an unequivocal answer, but they will continue their work until they find the right solution.

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