January 17, 2022

Oh. Wow.

One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us news from the vicinity of Boyajian's Star or  KIC-8462852.

"Hi aliens!"

For those who haven't heard about this star, it has been in the news for a couple of years, because of some anomalous dimming. The dimming was initially thought to be indicative of large 'objects' that weren't really shaped like planets orbiting the star. This caused....excitement....in certain circles. There was (and still is) some loose and irresponsible talk of "alien megastructures". However, subsequent observation indicated that the structures might be composed of dust...very fine dust with about the same particle size as cigaret smoke. So comets or a solar ring system were proposed, and, in any event it looked like it was probably soon to be figured out. 

Now, 12 years after first baffling astronomers, there are a few theories, but nothing really fits. For one thing, if it IS dust something is replacing it at uneven intervals, leading to loose and irresponsible speculation that the dimming is caused by tailings from asteroid mining or something. 

Current investigations are focused on trying to find some odd periodic collision of comets.

One scientist by the name of Dr. Edward G. Schmidt decided to look for other stars that were behaving in a similar way. No other's had been noted but no one had been looking for them. If it's happening in multiple systems, it probably is natural, and by observing multiple such stars, it might be possible to find a cause. 


A search of the entire sky turned up only a few. They are ALL clustered in the vicinity of Boyajian's Star and only around stars of the same stellar type, namely G and F stars. Like Earth's sun, or slightly hotter. 

This is EXACTLY what one would expect if the phenomenon were the result of alien megastructures or megaprojects that were associated with a civilization that was expanding to nearby systems...and if they were only choosing to do big projects around sunlike stars. Bigger and smaller stars tend to have flares or other problems so G and F stars would make sense in that context.

Of course it still could be a natural phenomenon that only affects a particular type of star in that little bit of the galaxy.

Explaining that would probably be a cosmological discovery of considerable note.

Scientists really don't know what this is. 

 But it's intriguing that the discovery of other examples actually strengthened rather than debunked the "It's aliens!" hypothesis. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 03:53 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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