«Star alien»: what researchers have learned about her last fading

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polarisation flashing stars aliens in the constellation Cygnus can be called a giant planet like Saturn«Star alien»: what researchers have learned about her last fading© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina

. Astronomers were able to see the last fading mysterious «star aliens KIC 8462852 and measure its spectrum, the analysis of which, as hoped by the discoverer Tabetha, Boyajian, will help us understand who was involved in its «flashing» – comets, asteroids, planets or highly developed aliens.

«We spent almost four years without sleep and rest, waiting for the next fading KIC 8462852. We were helped by astronomers from all corners of the Earth, working with the biggest telescopes in the world. Before this event, we were not sure that this hazing was not an isolated event, and only now these fears were dispelled,» says Tabetha, Boyajian (Tabetha Boyajian) from Yale University (USA).

In mid-October 2015 and Boyajian her colleagues told about the unusual fluctuations in the brightness of the star KIC 8462852 in the constellation of Cygnus, which may indicate the presence in the vicinity of the so-called Dyson sphere created by the evolved civilization of aliens.

Initially, scientists assumed that such «blink» of a star could be caused by a swarm of comets closed it the light from observers on Earth, but in January 2016 the American astronomer Bradley Schaefer found that the brightness of KIC 8462852 inexplicably fell by 0.16 magnitudes over the last century that questioned this theory.

Initially, a number of skeptics have tried to deny the fact tarnishing KIC 8462852 in the short and long term, but subsequently, scientists working with a telescope «Kepler», and Russian astronomers from the Pulkovo Observatory confirmed that the brightness of the star fall in the past. Last week the brightness of KIC 8462852 again started to fall, a decrease of 2% in a few hours.

It tells Boyajian, the first tarnishing of the «star alien» was actually discovered by accident, and so the astronomers were not ready for the observations of them and the disclosure of the reasons that have made KIC 8462852 to dramatically reduce the brightness. This time, thanks to a specially organized for this Kickstarter campaign and the help of scientists from all the major ground and space observatories in the world, the fading «stars Tabby» was thoroughly studied.

A giant shadow

Fading KIC 8462852 in may of this year, according to the astronomer, is not random and favors the fact that the «flashing» are caused by some object in orbit, «star aliens» who commit one revolution around the sun in approximately 750-780 days. This is supported by the fact that other drop in brightness, which was recorded by the telescope «Kepler» during the first phase of its work occurred with approximately the same frequency and brightness of the stars while they varied in exactly the same way.

On the other hand, a similar frequency of «flashing» the KIC 8462852 says that it needs to block a giant object the size of about five Jupiters. As explained by David Kipping (David Kipping), a well-known planetary scientists from University of Colombia, such a celestial body cannot be a planet around such dimensions have red dwarfs and other small stars.

His footprints would be visible to the space telescope «Spitzer», operating in the infrared range, however, Boyajian and her colleagues did not record them for about a year of observations. Moreover, these observations exclude the possibility of presence of large number of asteroids and comets at this distance from the star. All this once again made this star, as noted, Boyadjian more mysterious than we previously thought.

«We conducted observations in different parts of the spectrum, many of which were unavailable to the «Kepler» during the first dips in the brightness of stars. Comparing them together, we hope to understand what is this object, how it is «transparent» and how it originated. It is important that we were monitoring it in real time that can not be done with «Kepler,» continued the astronomer.

Rings and retinue of «Saturn»

The answer to this riddle, how do you think Fernando Ballesteros (Fernando Ballesteros) from the University of Valencia (Spain) and his colleagues, can not escape the planet or its potential fragments, and in the other type of objects familiar to us – a giant gas-dust rings of the giant planets.

They drew attention to the fact that tarnishing KIC 8462852 was not random, and was in the original «threes» – first, the brightness of the stars fell relatively little during the short periods of time, then she faded badly, and then again faded slightly. All this reminded them of how would look like the Sun if we looked at it position located beyond the orbit of Saturn, the main Lord of the rings in the Solar system.

If KIC 8462852 there is such a planet, its rings can reflect quite a large amount of light, if they are rotated at an angle relative to observers in orbit or on the surface of the Earth. In this case, the passage of such a «Saturn» on the disk KIC 8462852 or it will significantly reduce the brightness of the star.

A small drop in brightness of the «star alien», in turn, will be called the so-called Trojan asteroids, thousands of which move in an orbit giant planets at a fixed distance behind them and before them.

Despite the elegance of this theory, not all astronomers agree with her. For example, a planetary scientist Jason Wright of the University of Pennsylvania (USA) notes that «Roy» Trojans, and the rings of the planet must be a giant. The width of the latter, according to his calculations should be comparable with the distance between the Sun and Earth to reflect enough light KIC 8462852, and the total mass of the asteroids must be equal to or exceed the mass of Jupiter.

Similar position is held Kipping – he noted that such «planet» in size will not yield to the largest brown dwarfs and therefore it will be visible in the infrared part of the spectrum. Therefore, this theory can hardly explain the mysterious tarnishing «the star of aliens.

Other mysteries KIC 8462852, such as its gradual fading, remain a mystery to astronomers. As noted, Boyajian, today there is no doubt that they exist, but the new data not only explain them, and do more strange and confusing. She hoped that further observations will help us to uncover the secrets of the most mysterious stars in our Galaxy.