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Dust, not "alien megastructures", cause of unusual dimming of star
Posted: Sun, Jan 7, 2018, 9:22 AM ET (1422 GMT)
KIC 8462852 (Tabbys Star) illustration (NASA) Astronomers announced this week that they believe the unusual changes in brightness in a distant star can be explained by a natural, and not artificial, cause. Observations of the star KIC 8462852 by NASA's Kepler spacecraft captured the attention of astronomers because of an unusual dimming pattern that some suggested could be explained if giant structures, created by some alien civilization, were orbiting the star. New observations of the star, though, show that the star dims by different amounts at different wavelengths, and thus whatever is causing the dimming is not opaque. Instead of alien megastructures, astronomers suggest dust clouds around the star may be causing the brightness changes.
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