Yesterday, Dr. Tabetha Boyajian and Professor Jason Wright have participated in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) to answer any and all questions regarding the “most controversial star in our Galaxy” KIC 8462852.
Last year, the media gone crazy about the potential so-called “alien megastructure” around KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby’s star (after lead author Tabetha S. Boyajian) or the WTF star (for “Where’s The Flux?”), a F-type main-sequence star, much like our sun, located in the constellation Cygnus approximately 1,480 light years away from Earth.
KIC 8462852 has quickly become one of the biggest astronomical mysteries due to its unusual light fluctuations, it occasionally dims by as much as 20%, suggesting that there is some material in orbit around this star that blocks its light — this surprising behavior is odd even by the generous standards of cosmic phenomena.
Explanations for the star’s unruly behavior ranged from a swarm of comets, gravity darkening to alien megastructures. But most of the hypothesis were ruled out by scientists.
We’d never seen anything like this star,
says Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoc at Yale.
It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.
There’s no doubt KIC 8462852 is behaving strangely, so something must be responsible,
Bradley Schaefer of Louisiana State University said.
Either one of our refutations has some hidden loophole, or some theorist needs to come up with some other proposal.
so the question is what is happening? When will we have an answer? Here’s the most common question about KIC 8462852 answered by T. Boyajian and Prof. J. Wright.