The Tabby’s Star (also known as Boyajian's Star) was best known for spurring speculations about alien megastructures. But recently, it has stirred headlines because the event waited by astronomers have happened, the star started dimming compared than before.
According to Science Mag, the Tabby’s Star was discovered by The Kepler Space Telescope. The star named after Yale University astronomer Tabetha S. Boyajian dubbed as KIC 8462852 was then reported to dim once again after numerous study regarding the darkness that envelops it.
From Boyajian’s Kepler observations from 2011 and 2013, it was revealed that the Tabby’s Star has two mechanisms namely a periodic twinkle, and a much longer-term dimming. Boyajian was then said to have called the Wright: Fairborn Observatory in Arizona to share to them the news that the Tabby star is experiencing a dip by 1.7 percent. The event was noted to have occurred last May 19.
With that said, it was also identified that observations from the Las Cumbres Observatory in Maui resulted in a 2 percent dip over two days from May 17 to May 19. Boyajian and her colleagues are then hoping that they could solve the mystery behind the Tabby’s Star. But some also believed that there is still an undiscovered phenomenon occurring in the star as reported by The Register.
“This is the first time we’ve seen a clear dip since the Kepler mission, and also the first we’ve caught in real time. The changes are as steep as we ever saw it change brightness with Kepler. It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks,” Jason Wright, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University in State College stated. Wright also mentioned in the video below that capturing the dimming effect of the Tabby’s Star might help them uncover the mystery of what really causes the dips.
Amid numerous speculations, the big question which is why the Tabby’s Star is dim isn’t still answered. Scientist’s speculations were shared to be that the dimming effect was caused by Dyson Sphere, an alien megastructure built. Others were said to be a swarm of comets, small black hole eating a star and disintegrating planets. Yet, no evidence were collected to prove one of the hypotheses to be true.