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Boyajian's Star: Could its bizarre behavior be due to an evaporating exomoon?

18 Sep 2019, 13:00 UTC
Boyajian's Star: Could its bizarre behavior be due to an evaporating exomoon?
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So literally on Monday I wrote an article about the star KIC 8462852 — aka Tabby's Star, or as I prefer it Boyajian's Star, the weird star that has been showing extremely bizarre behavior. It undergoes fairly random dips in the light we see from it, some of which are extremely deep. So deep, in fact, that it's difficult to explain them; one, for example, blocked 22% of the star's light! A planet can't do that, because a planet that big would be a star itself!

A lot of ideas have been proposed, including colliding planets, comets, asteroid collisions, a tilted disk of dust, and more. Even aliens, as you may recall, building a gigantic megastructure around the star to capture all its light to power their growing civilization.

Nothing really explains everything we see. New observations showed that the star's blue light gets blocked more than red, so we know dust is involved; that's exactly what dust does. But another study showed that the star itself is getting dimmer overall extremely slowly, like over a timescale of centuries! Also, whatever it is can't be too rare, because a whole slew of other stars has now been found that behave ...

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