Gas cloud makes star flash
The most mysterious star in the universe. That is what astronomers have nicknamed KIC 8462852. Located 1,000 light years away, it's about 50% larger than the Sun and 1,000 degrees hotter. And it appears to turn its light up and down in a way that we haven't seen in any other stars.
More than 200 astronomers have cooperated to find out why. Headed by Tabetha Boyajian from Louisiana State University in the US, they have collected observations from telescopes throughout the world over a period of 1.5 years. In this way, they have obtained detailed data, which demonstrates exactly how and when the light from the star increases and decreases in different wavelengths.
If a solid, impenetrable object were orbiting the star, blocking out its light, the astronomers expected that all wavelengths would be equally affected, but that was not the case. The light decreased more in some wavelengths than others, suggesting a cloud of gas was orbiting the star.
The mystery has not yet been completely solved. According to the astronomers, comets around the star might also play a role, whereas other scientists still believe that it is the star itself which is getting brighter and dimmer.
A skew gas cloud around the KIC 8462852 star makes its light flash irregularly.