The Milky Way’s Strangest Star Gets Even Stranger


#Stars #MilkyWayThe Milky Way’s Strangest Star Gets Even Stranger : The Milky Way is home to some strange objects. This is not unusual as there is still much to learn about Space. Some strange objects seem to defy even logic, such as the star, known as KIC 8462852, which scientists find to be much stranger than usual.

The star KIC 8462852 is located in the constellation Cygnus and for some time it has astronomers baffled. Some stars dim from time to time and that can be attributed to planets possibly circling it. However, KIC 8462852 has brightened and dimmed over the time it has been observed.

According to Josh Simon and Ben Montet the star has faded slowly and steadily during the four years it has been observed by the Kepler space telescope. This is aside from the star also having unexplained periods of rapid brightness, as Phys Org reports.

The star has been recorded to have its brightness decrease by 14 percent from 1890 to 1989. This has prompted the two astronomers to look closer at the star. For the first three years, it has been noted that KIC 8462852 has dimmed by one percent.

Then its brightness further dimmed by two percent in just six months. It has remained that way for the remainder of the time it was observed.

The star’s strange behavior has so far not been explained by scientists, as Science Daily notes. Simon and Montet have compared KIC 8462852 to 500 other stars that behave in the same way. While other stars did fade over time, none of them faded as rapidly as KIC 8462852.

“The steady brightness change of KIC 8462852 is pretty astounding,” Montet has remarked. He added that they have used accurate instruments that show the star getting dimmer over time. Simon also remarked that the star has been unusual since it has shown to have periods where it dimmed so fast.

Simon and Montet theorize that the sudden dimming might be attributed to a comet or planet breaking up near it and dust particles have obscured the star.

That however still does not explain why the star dimmed steadily in the time they have studied it, or the data that showed the star dimming as time went on from the nineteenth century. Continued observations of the star might in time solve its mystery. Source: Itechpost