Apr 26, 2017 01:59 AM EDT
The discovery of the Boyajian star’s dim lighting still bothers scientists up to this date. Whether is the dim parts of the star caused by aliens creating megastructures to harness energy or whether is a black hole disk blocking the star’s light is still being analyzed by scientists.
According to Popular Science, Tabetha Boyajian, a researcher from Yale discovered the dimness of the Boyajian’s star, also known as “Tabby” star or KIC 8462852. He focused the Kepler Space Telescope on the star last September 2015 and was weirded out about its lighting.
With that said, Boyajian and his coauthor Steinn Sigurd̵sson gathered all of the theories they came up with. The pair first ruled out Kepler the telescope making a mistake. The second was a black hole couldn’t possibly darken the star’s light but instead lightens it if it were to suck materials from the star.
Comets were also speculated but were ruled out since there was no heat seen by the scientists being emitted from the darkness. It was also said that it would take 648,000 extra-large comes to dim out the Boyajian’s star for so long. A disk of material orbiting a black hole was deemed as possible if only it was 600 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun to block its light.
Yet, the explanation from a team of scientists from Columbia University and the University of California-Berkeley was mentioned by Jason Wright, an astronomist at Penn State University to be in the top-tier explanations for Boyajian’s star weird darkness. The theory from the researchers was that the star ate a planet sometime in the past 10,000 years per The Christian Science Monitor.
“Gravitational energy released as the body inspirals into the outer layers of the star caused a temporary and unobserved brightening, from which the stellar flux is now returning to the quiescent state,” the study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society stated. The reason for Boyajian’s star’s darkness was that it was still in its “post-digestion” after eating the star.
Hence, the Boyajian’s star’s is still recuperating its original brightness after burning the planet. Orbiting planet debris was also mentioned to be left by the star upon eating the planet. The debris was then speculated to block the light of the star, resulting in its dim appearance.
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