The mystery of KIC 8462852

From 2015 several astronomers are traing to explain the strange phenomenon that surrounds the star known as KIC 8462852, a star at 1,480 light years from Earth, showing a variation in brightness that until now was unexplicable. Several hypotheses have been poposed, some also not ordinary (or fanciful, depending on the points of view): one of these suggests a “Dyson” sphere around the star, an artificial structure built by a super advanced civilization to capture all the energy of its star.

THE BANQUET OF THE STAR. Untill now no hypothesis is able to explain all the strange behavior of this star. But now a new hypothesis seems to have gained the attention of the scientific community: what is detected by the instruments, ie the brightness variability, indicates that this phenomenon is the result of the capture of a planet… According to researchers of Columbia University, at certain moment of its history KIC has swallowed a planet, and the residual material of the catastrophe and even some moons have remained around the star and, passing between this and our observation instruments, block the light, and therefore could be the origin of intermittency light.

This hypothesis could explain the observed sudden obscurations and the gradual decrease of star light that occurred between 1990 and 1989. Generally, when an extrasolar planet passes in front of its star, it reduces its brightness by about 1%: for KIC 8462852 variation can arrive to 22%. According to the research group of Columbia, if the star had swallowed a planet, the energy released may have created a sudden increase in brightness, and then it returns to be normal after a period of weeks or months.

THE LONG MEAL. The event may have occurred about 10,000 years ago, the researchers say, and the recent obscuring suggests that the catastrophe has ended in recent times. According to astronomers. the phenomenas of this type may be relatively common, even if they are very difficult to detect because the actual instruments are not powerful enough to detect them easily at distances of 1,000 light years from Earth.

MYSTERY SOLVED? Maybe not: even without to suppose an alien civilization, as per some scientist, the variations of star light may be caused by cosmic debris, that could be located at some point between the Earth and KIC, therefore assuming the existence of residues of a giant object between the star and the Earth.

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