The Mysterious “Boyajian’s Star”

December 2018 Newsletter

The explanation for the mysterious “Boyajian’s Star” has eluded scientists since its discovery in 2015. DIRAC Research Scientist, James Davenport, thinks it may simply be cosmic dust.

DIRAC Researcher and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, James Davenport, is a coauthor on a recent paper studying “Boyajian’s Star”, aka the Most Mysterious Star in the Universe! KIC 8462852, as the star is officially known, has been observed to undergo dramatic changes in brightness over several days, as well as smaller long-term variations. Both of these forms of variability have been unexplained so far, but this latest paper (including Davenport and UW grad student , Brett Morris) finds that clumpy dust surrounding KIC 8462852 is the most likely explanation.R

UW Press Release

This illustration depicts a hypothetical uneven ring of dust orbiting KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian’s Star or Tabby’s Star. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech