The “WTF” Star That May Be Home to an “Alien Megastructure” Is Behaving Strangely Again
Our galaxy’s strangest star, KIC 8462852, has been raising a lot of questions — including some about little green men — since 2015.
Now, the star is in the news again because it is exhibiting the same strange behavior that led astronomers to believe an “alien megastructure” may be orbiting it.
KIC 8462852 achieved fame in 2015 when a scientific paper suggested that a vast alien megastructure could have been responsible for temporary dips in the luminosity of the star that were recorded by the Kepler Space Telescope first in 2011, and then again in 2013.
Also known as “Tabby’s Star” and “Boyajian’s Star” (named for researcher Tabetha S. Boyajian), KIC 8462852 is sometimes called the “WTF Star”, a nickname that refers to her study subtitled Where’s The Flux? (a joking reference to the colloquial expression of disbelief “WTF”).
As we reported last year,
The star, KIC8462852, has confused astronomers because the light it gives off keeps changing in fast, drastic ways that do not follow any pattern. Between 2009 and 2013 for example, the star would randomly lose up to 20% of its brightness. Planets etc. revolving around it were ruled out because the dimming would follow a pattern in that case and this didn’t.
On May 19, Wright called for his fellow astronomers to keep an eye on the star:
Boyajian also has been Tweeting about the recent activity:
She spoke with Cool Worlds about the star:
In this video, author and futurist John Michael Godier discusses the latest news about the star.