#Astronomers #NASA – Mysterious Star KIC 8462852 Continues To Dim And Astronomers Still Don’t Know Why : The star KIC 8462852 caused an entire scientific controversy because of what seems to be a bizarre behavior. In 2015, it underwent short and non-periodic dimming moments, as captured by NASA’s Kepler telescope.
Since nobody could fully understand the reason behind these strange occurrences, a team of scientists formed of Carnegie’s Josh Simon and Caltech’s Ben Montet has started analyzing the phenomenon.
Back in August, when they posted their findings on a preprint server, their theories caused even more controversy. However, their work was recently accepted for publication.
The paper will be released in The Astrophysical Journal and it deals with the Kepler observations showing an additional slowly fading process of the star, which happened regularly during the four years the telescope recorded its activity.
The mystery was surrounded with speculations, and hypotheses trying to explain the star’s unusual activity covered every possible explanation, from orbiting comets to alien megastructures.
The most common reason for which stars can seem to be dimming is usually the presence of a solid object, such as a planet or a thick cloud of dust, blocking the telescope’s angle of observation.
This type of eclipse would constitute a solid theory for a star’s apparent dimming. However, as the pattern seems to be highly irregular, representatives of the scientific community denied this hypothesis, being unable to determine the exact causes of the star’s fading and sudden re-brightening.