A strange star that researchers have been watching is emitting a weird glow that leads them to suggest it is surrounded by an artificial structure.
KIC 8462852, located 1480 light-years away, was monitored by the Kepler Space Telescope for more than four years, beginning in 2009.
‘We’d never seen anything like this star,’ Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoc at Yale, told The Atlantic.
‘It was really weird.
‘We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.’
She recently published a paper in the online journal arxiv outlining the possible causes - and discounting many of them.
‘Over the duration of the Kepler mission, KIC 8462852 was observed to undergo irregularly shaped, aperiodic dips in flux down to below the 20% level,’Boyajian and her team at the crowdsourced astronomy site planet hunters found.
There, researchers flagged the star as bizarre as early as 2011.