A recent researcher paper released states that natural causes – not alien life forms – are to blame with the mysterious activity around KIC 8462852 – a star in the Cygnus constellation roughly 1,480 light years from Earth.
Through a 100-day observation, researchers saw periodic mysterious abnormalities, blocks in vision, and even irregularly shapes “floating” in front of the star. But a paper recently released by the Cornell University Library attributes the abnormalities to something more natural. Entitled “a statistical analysis of the accuracy of the digitized magnitudes of photometric plates on the time scale of decades with an application to the century-long light curve of KIC 8462852,” the paper in short points to instrumentation and observation as the causes of the abnormalities.
“We looked at variations in the brightness of a number of comparable stars in the Digital Access to a Sky Century at Harvard (DASCH) database and found that many of them experienced a similar drop in intensity in the 1960’s,” said co-author Prof. Keivan Stassun of Vanderbilt University. “That indicates the drops were caused by changes in the instrumentation not by changes in the stars’ brightness.”
The most remarkable of these fluctuations consisted of dozens of uneven, unnatural-looking dips that appeared over a 100-day period indicating that a large number of irregularly shaped objects had passed across the face of the star and temporarily blocked some of the light coming from it.