Another Alien Megastructure? Young Star Is Mysteriously Dimming!
Scientists have identified a young star that is dimming. According to reports, the young star known as RIK-210, which lies roughly 472 light-years from Earth.
Science Alert explains that usually, when stars are dimming, it means something is passing in front of it, momentarily blocking its light from reaching Earth. But the scientists note that the case of RIK-210 cannot be explained by transiting stellar or brown dwarf.
"High spatial resolution imaging revealed the star is single, and radial velocity monitoring indicated that the dimming events cannot be due to an eclipsing stellar or brown dwarf companion," the scientists wrote in a paper.
The dimming was first spotted by researchers working on NASA's Kepler mission, and the observation was relayed to a team od scientists, led by CalTech's Trevor David for further studies.
Phys.org noted that the dimming occurs approximately every 5.67 days, in phase with the stellar rotation, meaning that as RIK-210 rotates, the object that causes the dimming rotates with it. Moreover, the morphology of the dimmings is variable throughout the whole observational campaign, while the starspot modulation pattern remains stable over this period of time.
The dimming suggests that it is unlikely caused only by a single object and that it is happening on the surface.
"W e argue it is unlikely the dimming events could be attributed to anything on the stellar surface based on the observed depths and durations," they wrote.
The most logical explanation that they could provide is that the dimming could have been caused by magnetospheric cloud, a transiting protoplanet surrounded by circumplanetary dust and debris.
Meanwhile, this is not the first mysterious dimming star detected in the universe. As per Astronomy Now, the most controversial dimming star is known as KIC 8462852, Tabby's Star.
While few scientists suggested that comet debris that surrounded that planet could explain the dimming of Tabby's star, scientists from SETI, speculatively suggested that the transits looked similar to what might be expected from orbiting megastructure, such as a partially-built Dyson swarm.
Conspiracy theories suggest that the megastructure is controlled by aliens who are harvesting the energy of the star.