Before I start I want to mention something: It’s probably not aliens but this theory of presence of ET can’t be overlooked completely. But the strange, flickering star identified as KIC 8462852 still isn’t sitting right with astronomers. Actually, it just got a lot stranger now. Ever since KIC 84628532 was detected in the Kepler Space Telescope’s dataset, astronomers have mystified over what the actual heck might be accountable for the star’s logic-defying light diming pattern. Over four years of observational data, KIC 8462852 flickered completely unpredictably, its light yield occasionally falling by as much as 20%. That’s extremely rare stellar behavior, and it can’t be clarified by a transiting planet.
While Kepler only recorded few years of data on the star, astronomer Bradley Schaefer of Louisiana State University decided to study the photographic plates of the sky dating back to the late 19th century.
To his astonishment, he erudite that over the last hundred years, KIC 8462852's light output has gradually faded by roughly 19%, something that’s “totally extraordinary for any F-type main sequence star.”
Tabetha Boyajian, a prime researcher on the group that initially discovered the star, told New Scientist “This presents some trouble for the comet hypothesis. We need more data through continuous monitoring to figure out what is going on.”
Certainly, it’s tough to visualize either aliens or natural celestial bodies diminishing a star’s light output that much over such a tiny period of time.
It’ll be a while yet before we’ve cracked the mystery of KIC 8462852. But we have to admit that that this is what’s great about scientific discovery. Plainly all imaginable clarifications are on the table at this point—and the truth about this tantalizing star might be more interesting than we ever imagined.