DISCOVER | Evaporating Exomoon Could Explain Weird Light Patterns of Tabby’s Star

A ring of dust circles Tabby's Star, or Boyajian's Star.
An artist’s concept of a ring of dust orbiting Tabby’s Star. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


Also published in Astronomy

September 2019

About four years ago, one star gained notoriety when some astronomers suggested its weird light pattern could be signs of artificial “alien megastructures” blocking the star’s light. Though scientists generally say that clouds of gas and dust are most likely the culprit, the source of that gas and dust remains a mystery.

One possibility is that the star, formally called KIC 8462852, kidnapped an icy “exomoon” from its parent planet within the system.

If the researchers are right, this would be one of the earliest signs of an alien moon we’ve ever observed.