Someone call Neil DeGrasse Tyson because it’s been quite a week in the cosmos. First, we’re anticipating the Draconid meteor showers, now a star is dimming without explanation? Last year, it was reported that megastructure star KIC 8462852 was behaving oddly in its dimming. At the time, NASA attributed it to a family of comets passing through. Well, the unassuming KIC 8462852 is still making waves for dimming and now we’re not entirely sure what the cause is.
The Carnegie Institute for Science released a study on the star yesterday and the results, or lack thereof, are making us uneasy. According to the study, the star is dimming at an alarming rate that has never been seen before.
The study also found that in the first three years of the study, the star dropped only 1 percent in brightness but then dropped 2 percent in brightness in a span of six months. While that may not seem like a big deal those unfamiliar in astronomy may not know that stars have an unbelievable lifespan (the sun, a yellow star, is supposed to live to 10 billion years), so a star losing 2 percent in brightness in 6 months is pretty unheard of.
It’s pretty eerie that our best scientific agencies are struggling to explain this! Hopefully someone has an answer soon or we might have to start suspecting the aliens are behind it.