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16 October 2015

Alien Megastructure Found Around a Star

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 everythingchecked 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.


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