CNN selects ‘Tabby’s Star’ one of top space stories of 2018

CNN selects ‘Tabby’s Star’ one of top space stories of 2018
Tabetha Boyajian, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - “Tabby’s Star,” named after LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Assistant Professor Tabetha Boyajian has been selected as one of CNN’s top space stories of 2018.

LSU Featured Tiger, Tabetha Boyajian discusses “Tabby’s Star”

No star has ever been named after a woman until Boyajian. “Tabby’s Star,” or KIC 8462852, is said to be unique and brighter than most.

The citizen scientist group Planet Hunters is assisting Boyajian and her colleagues in conducting research on this perplexing star.

Dust is most likely the reason why the star’s light appears to dim and brighten. The new data shows that different colors of light are being blocked at different intensities. Therefore, whatever is passing between us and the star is not opaque, as would be expected from a planet or alien megastructure.
Boyajian said in the CNN article

Since the star is an alien megastructure, there was speculation to the cause of the flickering, however, that theory was thrown out earlier this year.

“This is definitely something new and exciting. Even if it is dust, what kind of dust does this?” Boyajian said.

Boyajian’s research interests includes fundamental properties of stars: diameters, temperatures, exoplanet detection and characterization, Optical/IR interferometry, stellar spectroscopy (radial velocities, abundances, activity), absolute spectrophotometry, binary stars, astrometry, stellar ages and evolution, stellar activity and rotation, and asteroseismology.

For more information on the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy click here.

The first three billion years of stars
The first three billion years of stars

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