Incredibly Bizarre Star: Astronomers Don’t Know What To Make Of This


Astronomers often discover this incredibly bizarre star in the universe. Several space research satellites and telescopes are continuously examining the galaxies to find new celestial bodies. It is common to come across new planets, meteors, etc. While some of their nature and activities may look strange at first, there is always an explanation. The astronomical community always finds the right reason and rationale. However, they rarely see a star that has unexplainable behavior patterns. As such, it reinforces the fact that there is much we do not know even with all the advancements in the fields of science and astronomy. Let us talk about such a star.

Astronomers Don't Know What to Make of This Incredibly Bizarre Star
Incredibly Bizarre Star: Astronomers Don’t Know What To Make Of This

The Discovery Of Bizarre Star

The Kepler space telescope recently came across an object in the Milky Way, that the astronomical community named HD 139139. It was presumed to be a star, much like the sun, some 350 light-years far. In the beginning, the astronomers thought that this was just another massive celestial object floating in the galaxy that was unknown until now. They were confident that they would soon find an explanation behind the ‘strangeness’ of this object. However, that was not the case.

The Kepler observatory has looked at 500,000 stars so far. But HD 139139 is genuinely bizarre, and unlike anything, the community of astronomers has ever seen. They analyzed the data collected on this star but found no viable explanation behind its unique behavior. 

The data showed HD 139139 had 28 distinct dips in its light. Each of these dips lasted from 45 minutes to 7 1/2 hours. These dips, when initially caught on the telescope data, were believed to be due to instrument glitches. However, reanalyzing checked out its reality.

Incredibly Bizarre Star: Astronomers Don't Know What To Make Of This
Incredibly Bizarre Star: Astronomers Don’t Know What To Make Of This

Possible Explanations

Astronomers are still trying to explain these dips. Usually, these result from the passage of a planet in front of the star. The earth blocks its light for some time. It is not much unlike an eclipse. Scientists initially believed there had to be from 14 to 28 planets to cause these many light dips. However, even after careful examination of the stars surrounding, they could not find any planets around it.  

The next possibility they tried to check out was the presence of a second body. This body was tugging the planets away, making their orbit irregular. Hence, the light dips were irregular. But if such a second body were indeed present, it would be pulling on the HD 139139 too, which was not the case.

The next explanation would be the planets disintegrating before the star, so they disappeared and not show up in the data. But, they still managed to cast the shadows. However, the evidence and data did not support the theory.

After this, another possible theory came up. The dips were occurring due to the presence of short-lived starspots. 

A final theory was the presence of a giant extra-terrestrial engineering project. This project could be causing the light dips. However, this theory was unwritten.

However, none of these theories checked out as of October 2018. The search for a proper explanation is still ongoing. The inside joke remains that this might be the work of aliens.