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Secrets of Cosmos

A Cosmic Journey

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Secrets of Cosmos is an attempt to share interesting cosmic events, objects and phenomenon with space enthusiasts.

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October 16, 2019

Tabby’s star: It’s dust, not aliens!


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KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian’s Star, or Tabby’s Star has been a source of exciting anticipations since last couple of years.

After all, it could have been aliens!

The phenomenon was thought to be a possibility of Dyson’s Sphere, a hypothetical structure built around a star to absorb all it’s energy, like the below image. Given the amount of matter, energy and engineering sophistication required to build such a structure, it is beyond a civilization like ours to fathom building something like this. Therefore, it could have been an advanced civilization which was doing this. Aliens!

image courtesy earthsky.org

 

Now, hold your breath.

However, a new study, co-authored by Tabetha Boyajian, on whose name the star is given the name Tabby’s Star, shows there could be simpler explanations for the mysterious dimming of the star.

Earlier, many of the possible reasons were ruled out by scientists, including possible dimming by a swarm of dust or asteroids.

Now it seems it could only be dust after all.

Data from different sources indicates that there is less dimming in Infrared light compared to dimming seen in Ultraviolet light. This could only mean one thing: The objects surrounding the star are not large objects, still there is some dimming.

The most plausible explanation for this is a huge swarm of dust rotating around the star, obstructing light coming to us.

image courtesy earthsky.org

 

Overall, study is still evolving and it will take more time to conclude something.

Wait for the JWST to uncover the truth. Until then, scientists continue to provide more insights and more concrete scenarios every passing day.


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