Alien megastructure? Forget about it, scientists say

Tabetha Boyajian

Astronomer Tabetha Boyajian discusses Tabby’s Star, “the most mysterious star in the universe,” during a TED talk in February 2016 in Vancouver, B.C. (TED via YouTube)

The astronomers who once speculated that an alien megastructure might be responsible for the weirdly fluctuating light from a distant star have now fully ruled out that way-out explanation.

Their conclusion, reported in a paper published today by Astrophysical Journal Letters, is based on a crowdfunded analysis of the light patterns in a wide range of wavelengths.

The authors of the paper include Louisiana State University’s Tabetha Boyajian, who led the discovery team for the star known as KIC 8462852 or “Tabby’s Star”; and Penn State’s Jason Wright, who first proposed the alien-megastructure hypothesis.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, 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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