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A team of astronomers using the Kepler Space Telescope has discovered a star with some very unstar-like behavior – and it’s causing a lot of buzz.
For four years a team studied the star and concluded that yes, indeed, it was behaving in a way they had never seen, with dips in its light patterns that resemble what some are saying could be proof of an alien civilization.
The team began studying the star, called KIC8462852, in 2009, looking for patterns in its light that might be evidence of planets or other bodies orbiting the star.
What they found are what appear to be large masses of “matter” randomly blocking the light emitted by the star by as much as 22 percent.
According to an article by Slate, even Jupiter only dims the sun’s light by 1 percent. So these are much, much larger objects.
What could they be?
One far-fetched theory posits that the objects are enormous solar panels that have been installed, or are in the process of being installed, around the star to harness its energy.
The authors of the paper about the star have not implied that the behavior of the star is due to alien life forms. The internet has taken care of that. Still, the star is very, very unusual.
“We’d never seen anything like this star,” researcher Tabitha Boyajian said in The Atlantic. “It was really weird.”