November 27, 2016

Tabby Star

To wonder about the existence of yet another kind enhances each of our curious minds. Expanding our thoughts out full and open, here lies a discussion over the strangeness recently discovered. Tabby’s star (located by Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT- a private network specifically designed to continuously monitor objects in space (under Tabetha S. Boyajian)) also known as KIC 8462852 or WTF (“Where’s the flux?”) star is an F-type main-sequence star located in the constellation Cygnus approximately 454 parsecs (1,480 ly) from Earth. Unusual light fluctuations of this star were discovered by scientists as a part of the Planet Hunters project, and over September 2015 presented possible data and interpretations regarding its strange behavior. Lead to this discovery was made from data collected by Kepler space telescope (which observes changes in brightness of distant stars to detect exoplanets (an extrasolar planet that orbits a star other than the sun)). Now, to talk about this particular star, we need to clarify over its definition for better understanding.  Stellar classification involves the classification of stars based on their spectral characteristics. The process includes electromagnetic radiation from the sun, analyzed by splitting it with a prism or grating exhibiting colors with absorption lines. Most stars are classified over their results of ionization states, for example; Morgan-Keenan system using the letters O, F, G, K and M, a sequence from hottest (O) to the coolest (M), while (D) for white dwarfs and (C) for carbon class (stars). This system is based on luminosity, the width of lines from the spectrum varies with the density of the atmosphere, and their sizes. Tabby’s star is F-type main-sequence, this kind involves hydrogen fusing star of F type, and luminosity class V. These stars have, 1.0 to 1.4 times the mass of Sun and temperatures between 6,000 K and 7,600 K. Due to these temperatures, they give a yellow-white hue.
F-type main-sequence dwarf stars, i.e., those standard stars that have remained unchanged over the years and can be used to define the system, however, not all of these have survived to this day as per their standards and classification. Tabby’s star is also known as “YSO dippers,” a category that includes stars that have different dimming patterns due to their changes in behaving according to their sequential model. This star got its name “Tabby” from Tabetha S. Boyajian, who was involved in the study of its initial discovery.
Along with the above information, four major hypotheses were proposed and now left to be considered, they are; for starters, this star could have planets or materials orbiting the star either blocking it or data that involves giant planets with large ring structures undergoing late heavy bombardment, second possible study suggested the sun could be at an age younger than its speed and position hence may have coalescing material around it, Planetary debris field explanation and cloud of disintegrating comets that could either send out wrong data over the disturbances of the infrared signals or that these comets could block over the data as third, an artificial megastructure thesis that served as their fourth dominant theory proposed that the objects eclipsing the star could be parts of a megastructure made by an alien civilization,  such as a Dyson swarm (hypothetical structure to divert the light energy of the sun to their own needs). Either way, the SETI Institute's initial radio reconnaissance of KIC 8462852, found no evidence of technology-related radio signals from the star. This topic catches our attention because the final theory has been given the chances that it may or may not deserve once again using various methods, such as difference in wavelength method, to understand the situation of this star and plenty other microscopes that could read the details of this star more accurately striking towards the betterment of knowledge upon this anomalous star. For this research continues over Boyajian who believes firmly over the “comets” as the issue, while stopping others from having to find any other. Even though this research continues over a USD of 100$ under Kickstarter campaign, she believes that "this project is the ultimate opportunity to help discover something new,” leaving behind hope for us to have her break her inhibitions over the alien megastructure and other pressing issues looked over by SETI and NASA.

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