In October last year, the discovery of strange fluctuations in the light of the star KIC 8462852 (also referred to as “Tabby’s Star”) led to suggestions that it could be an observation of something that an alien civilization might build (ie. an ‘alien megastructure’).
Since that time, there’s been plenty of debate as to the validity of the observation – but what would be the most help in resolving the mystery is to actually gather more data from observations of the star. And that’s exactly what the scientists involved want to do – but that requires telescope time, and that comes at a price.
The star was discovered with data from the Kepler space telescope, but Kepler has moved on to a different mission and cannot observe it anymore. But for us to understand what is happening — we need more data and we need your help!
We are using the Kickstarter platform to build community of people interested in working on this mystery with us. What are astronomers doing next? We need more data! Are you wanting to help? To learn? Join us!
This Kickstarter project will secure observing time on a global network of ground-based telescopes so we can catch the star when its brightness dips again. When will the dips occur? What will the dips look like? How long will they last? And last but not least, what is it passing in front of the star to make these dips?
Only with these new data, and the answers to these questions, will we be able to test theories out on what is happening around this star!