What’s Orbiting KIC 8462852 – Shattered Comet or Alien Megastructure?

Something other than a transiting planet makes the Kepler star KIC fluctuate wildly and unpredictably in brightness. Astronomers suspect a shattered comet, but who knows? Credit: NASA

Something other than a transiting planet makes KIC 8462852 fluctuate wildly and unpredictably in brightness. Astronomers suspect a crumbled comet, but the cause remains a mystery. Credit: NASA

“Bizarre.” “Interesting.” “Giant transit”. That were the reactions of Planet Hunters project volunteers when they got their first look at the light curve of the otherwise normal sun-like star KIC 8462852.

Of the more than 150,000 stars under constant observation during the four years of NASA’s primary Kepler Mission (2009-2013), this one stands alone for the inexplicable dips in its light. While almost certainly naturally-caused, some have suggested we consider other possibilities.(…)
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© Bob King for Universe Today, 2015. |
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