The mysterious dust surrounding Tabby’s Star


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New studies of Tabby’s Star suggest that the dust clouds that cause it to fluctuate in brightness in apparently random ways are unusual and baffling in their own right.

[I]t appears that the dimming of Tabby’s star comes not from large objects such as swarms of asteroids, comets, or alien solar collectors, but from drifting bands of dust particles. But like any good mystery, it’s not quite that simple.

Each of the four dimming events observed in 2017 affected red and blue light differently, suggesting that they involved dust particles of different sizes. And the long-term brightness changes appear to be associated with much larger grains. “So the dust cloud is extremely complex,” Bodman says. “Each dip is a different kind of dust … What we’re seeing is different parts of the [dust] cloud as they pass in front of the star.”

A first guess, probably wrong, is that the four dimming events were caused by dust streams orbiting the star at different distances, each a different patchy ring around the star made up of slightly different materials.

And if you accept my guess as right, I also have bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you. Real cheap too!

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