Artistic graphic of mysterious star KIC 8462852 surrounded by comets
(Mirror Daily, United States) A mysterious star has been giving scientists a bad time for a year now. Ever since its discovery, theories about it hosting alien forms of life have been going on, among others. A new study provides evidence on the peculiar phenomenon happening on KIC 8462852.
The new study is based on information provided by a Kepler Space Telescope from NASA. The telescope has been gathering the data for four years, from 2009 to 2013. Scientists were able to observe that the star has a fading light and that it loses its power more and more.
The authors of the study note that at first, the phenomenon was advancing in a slow rhythm. According to them, the star was losing 0.3 percent of its light every year. However, the researchers also observed an acceleration. There was a period of six months when the luminosity of KIC 8462852 dropped by two percent.
Researchers are puzzled by the behavior of this mysterious star. They compared it to other five hundred similar celestial bodies, but no signs of such phenomenon were reported on them.
Previous studies also drew the scientists’ attention on the weird dimming of light happening on KIC 8462852. They are curious about what is going to happen next. If the phenomenon advances, the star is likely to fade completely. This is something researchers have never dealt with before.
The mysterious star is located at over one thousand four hundred light-years away from our solar system. There are several theories about what could cause the strange behavior of the star. Some scientists believe that interstellar dust may be surrounding it, or comets might be passing in front of it. There are also voices that claim that other strange objects in space are the cause of the fading light of KIC 8462852.
One of the most controversial theories was suggested last year. After analyzing several scenarios, scientists reached an important conclusion. They thought that the only possible explanation for the strange behavior of the star is alien technology. This would mean that KIC 8462852 is either the home of aliens or one of the few celestial bodies which show signs of interaction with aliens forms of life.
The new study on KIC 8462852 doesn’t provide explanations for the ever-fading light of the star. However, it accounts for the strange phenomenon happening. The recent study was published in Astrophysical Journal.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia