The theories about the strange and mysterious light patterns surrounding a distant star some 1,500 light years away from Earth have abounded since it’s discovery in 2009, especially the possibility that aliens were somehow behind it.
The dipping or dimming light surrounding the star named KIC 84622852, also known as Tabby’s Star or Boyajian’s Star, was identified by the Kepler Space Telescope and has been tracked by scientists ever since.
Scientists said the irregular light patterns are an indication that something unusual is orbiting the planet.
One of the most unusual theories about the cause of the erratic light emitted from Tabby’s Star, something straight out of a science fiction film, suggested that aliens could have built a megastructure of some sort around the star, maybe a huge sphere of solar panels to harness energy.
Another theory, equally as strange, suggested an advanced alien civilization was building something gigantic near the star.
Perhaps a large number of comets orbiting the star caused the erratic light, or maybe the star was extremely active, emitting periodic and gigantic outburst, scientists theorized.
Now a more convincing theory about KIC 84622852 suggests the star consumed a planet about 10,000 years ago.
“We propose that the secular dimming behavior is the result of the inspiral of a planetary body or bodies into KIC 8462852,” researchers from Columbia University and UC Berkley said in a new research paper.
If the star did consume a planet, it could explain the unusual light pattern, researchers said.
It would have caused Tabby’s Star to suddenly brighten erratically, especially if a detached moon system from the engulfed planet was still circling the star irregularly blocking its light. The star would show a dimming pattern of light as it returned to normal, the research suggested.