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I ‘Tabby’s Star’ a binary?

  1. May 20, 2017 #1
    KIC 8462852, aka ‘Tabby’s Star’ is in the news again, with more BS ideas about "alien megastructures'.

    Isn't the simplest and most likely explanation for the intensity variability that it is a binary or multiple star system and that the Earth is in the same plane as the mutual orbit ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2017 #2

    Bandersnatch

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    Its variability is not like that of an eclipsing binary.
     
  4. May 20, 2017 #3
    how far is it from our solar system?
     
  5. May 20, 2017 #4

    mfb

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    Don't you think that explanation has been tested first?
    The patterns do not fit to isolated transit events as we would expect it from multiple stars orbiting each other. They are too long, have the wrong distribution in time and they are too structured.
    ~1300 light years.
     
  6. May 21, 2017 #5
    "and they are too structured."

    Did you mean too unstructured? The alternative explanations I see like broken up planet remnants, comet clouds etc, and seem to be trying to explain fairly erratic unstructured events. Apparently the "alien megastructure' must be some kind of post-modernist abstract 3D artwork.

    Maybe serious, professional scientists should stop coming out with such rubbish in an attempt to get their names in the media.

    This is just unscientific click-bait.
     
  7. May 21, 2017 #6

    mfb

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    The dips are not just "intensity goes down, intensity goes up again", they have internal structure.
    The original publications are proper work. The way the media reports about the star is more questionable.
     
  8. May 21, 2017 #7
    It could also be super powerful, pan-dimensional beings whose 3D projections resembles white mice who are conducting an psychological experiment on how humans react to such inexplicable phenomena. But without any other evidence to support the idea just saying it is "consistent with ... " is unwarranted baseless speculation , not science.
     
  9. May 22, 2017 #8

    mfb

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    Can we keep general discussion in the general thread, please?

    This was a question specifically about binary stars.

    Edit: I moved several posts to the main thread.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  10. May 22, 2017 #9
    Stars have unique spectral signatures. The variation from an eclipse will be greater in some wavelengths.
    The graph of the data from kepler is lopsided. Stars that are not round are not physically possible.
    1024px-KIC_8462852_-_Helligkeitseinbruch_05._M%C3%A4rz_2011.png

    an f22's shadow passing over a solar panel would look more like the graph than a soccerball's shadow.
     
  11. May 28, 2017 #10
    What about it being a binary with a brown dwarf as the other star?
     
  12. May 29, 2017 #11

    mfb

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    What would that explain?
    A brown dwarf is way too small to generate large dips.
     
  13. May 29, 2017 #12
    A brown dwarf blocks light the same way that Jupiter would block light. Brown dwarfs are all nearly the same size. Round alien mega structures with Jupiter radius look a lot like that too. Jupiter radius mega structures are classified as planets and do not generate as much conversation.

    A brown dwarf would have a lot of gravity. That causes the primary star to wobble. We can see doppler shifts in stars that wobble. A Saturn size planet could block most the light Jupiter blocks (71%) and weighs much less. If you include the rings Saturn blocks more light. A swarm of structures around a planet could create a transit lasting more than a day.
     
  14. Jun 1, 2017 #13
    Here is another off the wall thought; could it be in a binary system with a small black hole? It would be small but gravitational lensing could account for the large amount of dimming. more plausible than a mega structure
     
  15. Jun 1, 2017 #14
    Microlensing actually tends to increase a stars perceived brightness, not dim it. It acts like a magnifying glass.
     
  16. Jun 6, 2017 #15
    A black hole with an alien mega structure around it could bend some of the light away from us and block photons the hole would have sent here. That does not simplify anything. It just makes it a binary with the same problems we had with a solitary.

    Also a black hole would have a gravity effect on the star. Unless you allow the possibility that aliens built a micro-blackhole. That may not be physically possible. Regardless you might has well say "we detected a megastructure in 21st century" then add "there was a micro-blackhole in that megastructure". I believe a micro-blackhole would be a satellite orbiting a star and would not make the star a binary.
     
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