05/10/2016 14:52 BST

Dimming Star Mystery Deepens Even Further Following New Kepler Study

Aliens? Asteroids?

The mystery surrounding the oddly dimming “Tabby’s Star” has deepened yet further after a new study has highlighted just how unusual it really is.

Scientists at the Carnegie Institution for Science decided to use brand-images of the system from the Kepler space telescope.

What they found was that during time period they examined star KIC 8462852 dimmed a full one per cent over a period of three years.


While that in itself was odd, what really got their attention was that the star then dimmed a further two per cent over a period of just six months.

Previous explanations for why the star has been dimming have ranged from comets to vast dust clouds obscuring the star from the telescope.

Of course the most popular theory is that it is in fact a ‘Dyson’s Sphere’, a vast megastructure of alien design that is then potentially harvesting the energy of the star.

First believed to be a giant ‘alien megastructure’, the theory was then revised to it being caused by a vast swarm of comets.

NASA NASA / Reuters

A new look at the solar system however has ruled even that theory out, prompting one astronomer to suggest there’s only one explanation left: aliens.

Tabby’s star doesn’t seem to be following any pattern in nature. First believed to be steadily dimming over the last century a fresh analysis shows that in fact the star has been dramatically fading in just the last four years.

First discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, the star system’s odd behaviour was originally explained away as nothing more than the existence of exoplanets passing in front of the star.

This didn’t make sense though, the star’s dimming was by as much as 20 per cent - far greater than would have been caused by any planet.