Is Tabby's Star An Alien-made Megastructure?
Since 2015, KIC 8462852 star (better known as Tabby’s Star, named after Tabetha Boyajian, a USA-based astronomer) has puzzled scientists due to its strange changes in brightness. In reference to this, several theories have been proposed: from a young star with coalescent material around it, to planetary debris, and even some researchers suggested that Tabby’s Star could actually be an “alien megastructure”. However, the solution to this mystery seems to be on its way.
According to an article published on 23 August on British online newspaper The Daily Mail, scientists from the University of Antioquia (Colombia) explained that the star’s fluctuations could be caused by “a ringed planet like Saturn”.
“They [the Colombian scientists] argue that if a ringed planet like Saturn was in close orbit of the star with tilted rings, it would seem to dim the light coming from it in an irregular pattern”, the article states. “The rings would first block the light as the planet passed in front of the star, followed by the planet itself, before the rings again blocked more light. And because the tilted rings would be at a different angle on each pass, it would appear to be a random occurrence.
But with enough information, a pattern could be established”, the article explains.
Fernando Ballesteros, professor at the University of Valencia (Spain), supported this theory, affirming that a “gigantic ringed planet” could have reduced the star’s brightness in 2011. “The team [Ballestero’s team] claimed that a dip in 2011 which reduced the brightness of Tabby’s star by up to 15 per cent could be explained by a massive ringed planet five times the size of Jupiter transiting in front of it”, states The Daily Mail.
However, in spite of these explanations, certain researchers affirm that it is still possible to discover an alien superstructure somewhere in the universe. Zaza Osmanov, from the University of Tbilisi (Georgia) opined that “astronomers should turn their attention to 64 pulsar stars near our planet” that, in his opinion, could “offer the best chance of hosting an alien megastructure”.
“Rapidly rotating pulsars are very powerful and harvesting their energy would be quite profitable, but a habitable zone would be much farther and mass of a material required for constructing the mega-ring would exceed the total mass of all planets, asteroids, comets, centaurs and interplanetary dust in a typical planetary system by several orders of magnitude”, he asserted.
Draw your own conclusions…
For further information: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4815848/Alien-megastructure-star-mystery-solved.html