Unusual suspects for ‘alien megastructure’ star

Image: Comets and star
This illustration shows a star behind a shattered comet. (Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

That mysterious “alien megastructure” star is still a mystery, but the most plausible explanations appear to be dense patches of interstellar gas or dust that just happened to pass in front of the star.

That’s the upshot of analyses conducted by the astronomer who first raised the idea of an extraterrestrial construction project a year ago.

In the Astrophysical Journal Letters, Penn State’s Jason Wright and a co-author, Steinn Sigurdsson, run through a wide range of hypotheses for the behavior of a star called KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian’s Star or Tabby’s Star.

Not even the alien hypothesis is ignored.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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