Day: January 15, 2016

The Case of the So-Called Alien Megastructure Just Got Weirder

‘[T]he weird, flickering star known as KIC 8462852 still isn’t sitting right with astronomers. In fact, it just got a lot weirder.Ever since KIC 84628532 was spotted in the Kepler Space Telescope’s dataset, astronomers have puzzled over what the heck could be responsible for the star’s logic-defying light curve. Over four years of observational data, KIC 8462852 flickered erratically, its light output sometimes dropping by as much as 20%. That’s highly unusual stellar behavior, and it can’t be explained by a transiting planet.Some astronomers proposed that KIC 8462852 might be occluded by a swarm of comets. Others suggested aliens…’

Source: Gizmodo

No more conkers to clean up

horse chestnutThe sixty-plus foot horse chestnut tree which has towered over my house for my entire life there is gone. It toppled into the street in a windstorm the day before yesterday. Took out power, cable, phone and internet service for the block. I’ve lost an old friend.

What is 10 miles across, but brighter than the Milky Way?

‘Right now, astronomers are viewing a ball of hot gas billions of light years away that is radiating the energy of hundreds of billions of suns. At its heart is an object a little larger than 10 miles across. And astronomers are not entirely sure what it is. If, as they suspect, the gas ball is the result of a supernova, then it’s the most powerful supernova ever seen…’

Source: ScienceDaily