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CosmosUp | September 28, 2020

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Update: Star KIC 846852 Mystery Still Unsolved

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The most mysterious star in the universe KIC 846852 still baffling scientists. We have no idea what’s going around this bizarre star and maybe we’ll never know for sure; the only thing we can do is just to exclude the many-proposed hypotheses.

Back to Star KIC 846852 Approximately 1,480 light years away from Earth, sits KIC 8462852, a completely-ordinary main sequence star, slightly larger than our sun, with no spectral peculiarities and no emission lines or anything unusual; But this star catch our attention being in the news recently for unexplained and strange behavior.

NASA’ Kepler telescope observed irregular dips in KIC 846852 flux that last as short as a few days or as long as eighty days, and are as deep as 20% — such fast variations of a single main sequence star are inexplicable, we’ve never seen something like this before.

The source is so far unique in the Kepler’ database that it’s instantly catch the whole world attention. Several theories and scientific papers were submitted to explain KIC 846852 strange behavior but all the proposed scenarios were ruled out due to the lack of any solid evidence.

 So far, we exclude for sure “planetary transits” and the “comets’ family” hypothesis and thus there are still standing “the catastrophic collision between planets” and the most extravagant theory “the presence of a huge alien artifact so-called “Dyson sphere! around the star”.

And here’s the update. CfA astronomers Mike Dunham, Glen Petitpas, and Lars Kristensen, and their colleagues, looked for huge clouds of dust particles in KIC 846852′ system (the whole stellar system not just around the star);

The proposed cloud of dust and particles, if it exists, it could be the result of a catastrophic planetary collision, and its easily detectable at submillimeter and millimeter wavelengths due to its warm temperature.

They used the Submillimeter Array and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope to search for any such dust. They found no signs of it. And there is more. They limit the amount of material to less than about one tenth of the Moon’s mass and fewer than about eight Earth-masses throughout the entire stellar system.

KIC 846852 mystery still need answers

What scientists’ results’ actually mean? According to Mike Dunham such small amounts of dust make the catastrophic planetary collision scenario very unlikely. So, meanwhile other imaginable scenarios are still allowable!

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.


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