The most mysterious star in the universe | Tabetha Boyajian

Extraordinary claims
require extraordinary evidence, and it is my job,
my responsibility, as an astronomer to remind people that alien hypotheses
should always be a last resort. Now, I want to tell you
a story about that. It involves data from a NASA mission, ordinary people and one of the most
extraordinary stars in our galaxy. It began in 2009 with the launch
of NASA’s Kepler mission. Kepler’s main scientific objective was to find planets
outside of our solar system. It did this by staring
at a single field in the sky, this one, with all the tiny boxes. And in this one field, it monitored the brightness
of over 150,000 stars continuously for four years, taking a data point every 30 minutes. It was looking for what
astronomers call a transit. This is when the planet’s orbit
is aligned in our line of sight, just so that the planet
crosses in front of a star. And when this happens,
it blocks out a tiny bit of starlight, which you can see as a dip in this curve. And so the team at NASA
had developed very sophisticated computers to search for transits
in all the Kepler data. At the same time
of the first data release, astronomers at Yale
were wondering an interesting thing: What if computers missed something? And so we launched the citizen
science project called Planet Hunters to have people look at the same data. The human brain has an amazing ability
for pattern recognition, sometimes even better than a computer. However, there was a lot
of skepticism around this. My colleague, Debra Fischer,
founder of the Planet Hunters project, said that people at the time were saying, “You’re crazy. There’s no way
that a computer will miss a signal.” And so it was on, the classic
human versus machine gamble. And if we found one planet,
we would be thrilled. When I joined the team four years ago, we had already found a couple. And today, with the help
of over 300,000 science enthusiasts, we have found dozens, and we’ve also found
one of the most mysterious stars in our galaxy. So to understand this, let me show you what a normal transit
in Kepler data looks like. On this graph on the left-hand side
you have the amount of light, and on the bottom is time. The white line
is light just from the star, what astronomers call a light curve. Now, when a planet transits a star,
it blocks out a little bit of this light, and the depth of this transit
reflects the size of the object itself. And so, for example, let’s take Jupiter. Planets don’t get
much bigger than Jupiter. Jupiter will make a one percent drop
in a star’s brightness. Earth, on the other hand,
is 11 times smaller than Jupiter, and the signal
is barely visible in the data. So back to our mystery. A few years ago, Planet Hunters were
sifting through data looking for transits, and they spotted a mysterious signal
coming from the star KIC 8462852. The observations in May of 2009
were the first they spotted, and they started talking about this
in the discussion forums. They said and object like Jupiter would make a drop like this
in the star’s light, but they were also saying it was giant. You see, transits normally
only last for a few hours, and this one lasted for almost a week. They were also saying
that it looks asymmetric, meaning that instead of the clean,
U-shaped dip that we saw with Jupiter, it had this strange slope
that you can see on the left side. This seemed to indicate that whatever was getting in the way
and blocking the starlight was not circular like a planet. There are few more dips that happened, but for a couple of years,
it was pretty quiet. And then in March of 2011, we see this. The star’s light drops
by a whole 15 percent, and this is huge compared to a planet, which would only make a one percent drop. We described this feature
as both smooth and clean. It also is asymmetric, having a gradual dimming
that lasts almost a week, and then it snaps right back up to normal
in just a matter of days. And again, after this, not much happens until February of 2013. Things start to get really crazy. There is a huge complex of dips
in the light curve that appear, and they last for like a hundred days, all the way up
into the Kepler mission’s end. These dips have variable shapes. Some are very sharp, and some are broad, and they also have variable durations. Some last just for a day or two,
and some for more than a week. And there’s also up and down trends
within some of these dips, almost like several independent events
were superimposed on top of each other. And at this time, this star drops
in its brightness over 20 percent. This means that whatever
is blocking its light has an area of over 1,000 times
the area of our planet Earth. This is truly remarkable. And so the citizen scientists,
when they saw this, they notified the science team
that they found something weird enough that it might be worth following up. And so when the science team looked at it, we’re like, “Yeah, there’s probably
just something wrong with the data.” But we looked really, really, really hard, and the data were good. And so what was happening
had to be astrophysical, meaning that something in space
was getting in the way and blocking starlight. And so at this point, we set out to learn
everything we could about the star to see if we could find any clues
to what was going on. And the citizen scientists
who helped us in this discovery, they joined along for the ride watching science in action firsthand. First, somebody said, you know,
what if this star was very young and it still had the cloud of material
it was born from surrounding it. And then somebody else said, well, what if the star
had already formed planets, and two of these planets had collided, similar to the Earth-Moon forming event. Well, both of these theories
could explain part of the data, but the difficulties were that the star
showed no signs of being young, and there was no glow
from any of the material that was heated up by the star’s light, and you would expect this
if the star was young or if there was a collision
and a lot of dust was produced. And so somebody else said, well, how about a huge swarm of comets that are passing by this star
in a very elliptical orbit? Well, it ends up that this is actually
consistent with our observations. But I agree, it does feel
a little contrived. You see, it would take hundreds of comets to reproduce what we’re observing. And these are only the comets that happen to pass
between us and the star. And so in reality, we’re talking
thousands to tens of thousands of comets. But of all the bad ideas we had, this one was the best. And so we went ahead
and published our findings. Now, let me tell you, this was one
of the hardest papers I ever wrote. Scientists are meant to publish results, and this situation was far from that. And so we decided
to give it a catchy title, and we called it: “Where’s The Flux?” I will let you work out the acronym. (Laughter) So this isn’t the end of the story. Around the same time
I was writing this paper, I met with a colleague
of mine, Jason Wright, and he was also writing a paper
on Kepler data. And he was saying that with Kepler’s
extreme precision, it could actually detect
alien megastructures around stars, but it didn’t. And then I showed him this weird data
that our citizen scientists had found, and he said to me, “Aw crap, Tabby. Now I have to rewrite my paper.” So yes, the natural
explanations were weak, and we were curious now. So we had to find a way
to rule out aliens. So together, we convinced
a colleague of ours who works on SETI, the Search
for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, that this would be
an extraordinary target to pursue. We wrote a proposal to observe the star with the world’s largest radio telescope
at the Green Bank Observatory. A couple months later, news of this proposal
got leaked to the press and now there are thousands of articles, over 10,000 articles, on this star alone. And if you search Google Images, this is what you’ll find. Now, you may be wondering,
OK, Tabby, well, how do aliens actually explain
this light curve? OK, well, imagine a civilization
that’s much more advanced than our own. In this hypothetical circumstance, this civilization would have exhausted
the energy supply of their home planet, so where could they get more energy? Well, they have a host star
just like we have a sun, and so if they were able
to capture more energy from this star, then that would solve their energy needs. So they would go
and build huge structures. These giant megastructures, like ginormous solar panels,
are called Dyson spheres. This image above are lots of artists’ impressions
of Dyson spheres. It’s really hard to provide perspective
on the vastness of these things, but you can think of it this way. The Earth-Moon distance
is a quarter of a million miles. The simplest element
on one of these structures is 100 times that size. They’re enormous. And now imagine one of these structures
in motion around a star. You can see how it would produce
anomalies in the data such as uneven, unnatural looking dips. But it remains that even
alien megastructures cannot defy the laws of physics. You see, anything that uses
a lot of energy is going to produce heat, and we don’t observe this. But it could be something as simple as they’re just reradiating it away
in another direction, just not at Earth. Another idea that’s one
of my personal favorites is that we had just witnessed
an interplanetary space battle and the catastrophic
destruction of a planet. Now, I admit that this
would produce a lot of dust that we don’t observe. But if we’re already invoking aliens
in this explanation, then who is to say they didn’t
efficiently clean up all this mess for recycling purposes? (Laughter) You can see how this quickly
captures your imagination. Well, there you have it. We’re in a situation that could unfold to be a natural phenomenon
we don’t understand or an alien technology
we don’t understand. Personally, as a scientist,
my money is on the natural explanation. But don’t get me wrong, I do think
it would be awesome to find aliens. Either way, there is something new
and really interesting to discover. So what happens next? We need to continue to observe this star to learn more about what’s happening. But professional astronomers, like me, we have limited resources
for this kind of thing, and Kepler is on to a different mission. And I’m happy to say that once again, citizen scientists have come in
and saved the day. You see, this time, amateur astronomers
with their backyard telescopes stepped up immediately
and started observing this star nightly at their own facilities, and I am so excited to see what they find. What’s amazing to me is that this star
would have never been found by computers because we just weren’t looking
for something like this. And what’s more exciting is that there’s more data to come. There are new missions that are coming up that are observing millions more stars all over the sky. And just think: What will it mean
when we find another star like this? And what will it mean
if we don’t find another star like this? Thank you. (Applause)

100 Replies to “The most mysterious star in the universe | Tabetha Boyajian”

  1. Tramp damage to Amerika may be irreversible by now….just read the comments here….trampanzees galore….jejejej

  2. Her remarks at the end of the video about citizen astronomers put a smile on my face, as no one astronomer is less worthy than another; irregardless of credentials – because anyone can make an observation and anyone can hypothesize a theory.

  3. It's disappointing how the the transit and wobble methods of finding exoplanets and the theories that they rely on for accuracy (ignoring ad hoc) are never questioned under these inordinate circumstances. Instead great credence is given to the pointlessness of pondering the notion of extraterrestrial explanations…

  4. "Imagine a civilization more advanced than us."

    Lol, it's hard to imagine civilizations less advanced than us. We can't even produce a single megalith. Not to mention the idiocy of the Dark Ages and the hinderence of worship itself. When did man become so pale and ungrateful?

  5. Take a NASA BS pill and see me in the morning. Is critical thinking dead in America? I did listen to the whole talk.



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  7. She is right, a computer even in its AI form, cant "think" like its creator, the Human Brain. This theorey is based on years of research and solid data and it will go further. Good to wait and watch.

  8. .. nasa = religion = you Believe everything these morrons in a labcoat tell you. like a priest or prophet?

    Believing in NASA means doom for your soul. NASA is thus a religion, a Belief, cause you never went to space yourself. You just have to Believe what any Sodomite tells you.

    That in itself is a Belief/Religion. Away from the Creator/ God, and therefore Demonic/ satanic.

    To conclude:

    If NASA is your religion, you are a Satanist and doomed.

    Damned is the correct description and legal term.

  9. Bla bla bla bla rubbish. Pure assumptions of stupid epic romantic adventures. Data cant be lost. Anyone with basic knowledge of computer science knows how data is stored. Data can never be deleted. There is not technology for that. The operating system only get the permission to write new data "ontop". So NOOO Nasa didn't loose any data. All lies.

  10. Dark galaxy is a speedy galaxy that moves faster than light. In the rest frame of the dark galaxy, the earth is moving faster than light. No light from the galaxy can catch up with the earth. This is why it is dark.

  11. Personally think this is the start of a black hole. They suck up enegry and pair up with another star.

  12. It makes perfect sense that any advanced technology over a long period of time would require a very large amount of energy to exist and survive. Only stars have the capability to produce an indefinite reliable source of energy to satisfy these requirements.If advanced civilizations exist that most likely are thousands or even millions of years older  than ours, then it is reasonable to assume the ability and need to tap energy from stars would be likely.

  13. The method they developed for Kepler is FATALLY flawed. Even the best telescopes cannot resolve a planet orbiting a distant star. The rely on the transit method, which tracks reduction in light output from the star, and assume it is caused by object passing between the star and us observing the light. The claim from this is, that the orbiting object is in the same plane as our line of sight, and the transit dimming is caused by a full eclipse of the star by that object. But they have NO WAY to verify this. What happens when the dimming observed is caused by a partial eclipse of the star? ALL the data is JUNK at that point. I have pointed this out to more than one scientist on the project and they refuse to address this fact. The grant money must be kept flowing.

  14. Note: suggestions and opinions are not truth.
    Most mysterious stars (the false lights, like their spiritual father satan) in existence: Hollywood celebrities (people acting and getting paid for not producing anything of real value and wreaking havoc in the world, just like their new world order leaders and their tools/weapons/henchmen/women).

  15. I think Kepler does not show us everything, or what is more likely, the pictures we get to see are edited so we do not see what's really out there.

  16. DUR, There are Multiple planets transiting in front of the star at different times and different sizes. BOOM MIC DROP!

  17. Useless…I tell an intriguing story, then drop hints about a need for money. Science? Sales pitch? Garbage…I would feel so dirty and cheap…

  18. Couldn't it have been caused by moons circling the planet, sometimes the blocking effect being hidden by the planet and sometimes not?

  19. What you saw was a black hole orbiting a star, and at one time swalow a plantet that intersect its orbit.
    No dust, no particles.

  20. … Carl Sagan was paraphrasing Steven Weinberg – the originator of the quote: "Extraordinary claims require Extraordinary evidence".

  21. why could it not be long wide object of mass that is not RoUnD making the orbit. assuming that all planets are round or as unknowns … may not be as a planet but a orbiting mass that is …say a Flatt type structure of mass, with or without possible thick clouds of dust . be cool if it was a stretched out form of metallic that cooled down very fast after its melted bang point then thrown out as a whole instead of pieces.

  22. Ahhhh so that was what that viral facebook spam article about. A theory about megalithic alien structure around a star. I thought it was just some crazy nut job fake news. Never knew it was grounded on real research.

  23. Half way through the presentation I was thinking that what they had found would have been a binary star if the second star had ignited,

  24. How can you know something by observation alone ? Your thesis is flawed and inconclusive , you have judged a star ie book by its cover !

  25. It’s funny watching educated people go crazy😉. We fund a lot of science wanting to figure out if life is elsewhere, but then anybody that says they saw an alien is a crazed lunatic. And for this science show, we spend billions of our dollars, perhaps spent better to take care of the blue ball we actually live on….

  26. I find all of this extremely fascinating. What would they be using to capture solar energy? Stars are hot are very hot how could they put some things around the star that would not melt. It would have to be an extremely different type of metal. They would have to be able to melt and shape it. Then put it around the star. Interesting!!!

  27. It's the replicators! I think she's on to something…. it would take at least the mass of a planet to create a Dyson Sphere. Did they blow up multiple planets at different times to do EXACTLY what she said, "recycle the minerals and metals'?! This would require a technology like 'replicators' to create this within 4 years!

    I knew the Stargate and Stargate Atlantis was on to something!!! LoL The writer was catching information floating out there in the Super Conscience Electromagnetic Universe. Just like the 100th monkey observations, we catch these things all the time but dismiss them regularly. I've had it happen to me several times in my life alone. Nothing of major importance, just little things that trend, ideas or epiphanies that I picked up that suddenly appears in a magazine a week or so later. I bet this has happened to you also…. Edgar Cayce called this the 'Akashic Records'. He said we all had the ability to tap into this Super Conscience to know anything that's ever happened or that will happen! He used his ability to help people in various ways and was called the 'Sleeping Prophet'. Look him up, I'm sure you'll find his work interesting.

    Whether under alien control or intelligent machine unleashed wreaking havoc…. They're out there! Because we've conceived it, it's happened. In a universe this enormous, any and every thing ever thought has probably happened or is happening right now, we just can't see it yet.

  28. I really really enjoyed spending time in my evenings as a planet hunter. Thank you for putting it out there! ❤️

  29. Simply a mundane video of a scientist explaining the scientific frustration behind the inconclusive endevour they pirsued. Everything explained here are easily accessible through science channels these days. It clears out no points, no aims, no deductions, no certain outcomes. Poor talk.

  30. 1. What we say extraterrestrial is actually terrestrial.
    2. We are still trying to find them if as according to us if exsist .
    3. To me they knew everything about us . We are just there experimental .
    4. Then what is it they are looking for. They final result out of the earth laboratory.

  31. So the graph showed here is what our scientist actually see when observing the universe , and then they make artist renditions of the graph read outs ok 👍🏼 got it so does this mean I owe any flat earth believers an apology? because they where called stupid for saying the pics and video of other planets up close look fake


  33. go tabby!!:)
    sumerian tablets;planetary mining 1470years ago were witnessing. if u only realized wat confirmation this is:)*should be able to figure out shape on most planes of this by mirror imaging the data. extrapolating things or events should become easier:))

  34. She will make the same seminars with the same theory for the rest of her life. Nice job for someone to live.

  35. What that swarm of comets was the result of some massive collision that also sent ‘Oumuamua to our solar system

  36. In our Universe (DERN) there are no habitable planets, but we need to look for them in the Universe (DAL) twin of ours, but it is in another space-time dimension and ahead of 0.5 seconds. Good research, when you find the dimensional doors you will be well advanced, but it will still take millennia

  37. Nel nostro Universo (DERN) non ci sono pianeti abitabili, ma bisogna cercarli nell'Universo (DAL) gemello del nostro, ma si trova in un'altra dimensione spazio-tempo e avanti di 0,5 secondi. Buona ricerca, quando trovate le porte dimensionali sarete a un buon punto, ma ci vorranno ancora millenni.🛸🖖

  38. Have you guys considered a black hole causing this phenomena or perhaps multiple of them?
    or would that give a way different dim in light in the spectrum?

  39. perhaps there star got to big as the same is about to happen to our sun in billions of years, and perhaps they build a giant space umbrella to create some shade 🙂
    otherwise it would be the biggest BBQ ever 🙂

  40. Makes sense that an object is coming between us and this star. BUT why does it have to be in near orbit around the star? Seems like A much smaller object passing nearer to earth would give the same affect. But that would likely affect many stars light output, unless it took exactly the right path to only affect one star? Just thinking out loud.

  41. I should have been a scientist, that way I could have made a lot of money doing nothing but telling people bullshit. To think I spent almost 30 years in the high stess printing industry, until computers put me out of a job. Then worked constitution for 15 years, all of the time I could have made a lot of money as a bullshit artist like scientists, politicians, or even a school teacher.

  42. The Bible says Eve was was the mother of all living. There isn't live on other planets. The UFO's are the fallen angels roaming the earth to seek who they can destroy. Don't be fooled by the lights zooming in the heavens. It's just another attempt to confuse your love for our true creator. The I AM, YESHUA OUR SAVIOR. The Redeemer of our souls.

  43. With the amount of stuff in space between Kepler and that star. It could be anything. It doesn't have to be things revolving around that star. A closer object (rogue planet, comet, etc..) passing in-between the line of sight of Kepler and the star would easily explain that 15% drop. Any astrophysicist that said it was aliens must be completely brain dead…

  44. I love that Tabitha, herself, is presenting this amazing discovery they made concerning star “KIC -8462852”, now appropriately dubbed “Tabby’s Star’! The bizarre structure that seems to surround the Tabby’s Star” is seen via Kepler, as it emanates this anomaly, which is what seems like SIGNIFICANT rotational dips in light, like one might see observing our star and say Jupiter’s rotation around it only on a far more MASSIVE scale, from the Cygnus constellation!
    What I found astonishing is also, get this…so far it appears that BOTH the Egyptian Pyramids and newly re-discovered Gobeckli Tepi, are aligned to this constellation!!
    Even ancient cave drawings and several ancient civilizations also make reference to the Cygnus constellation!
    What I’m wondering is “Who” came up with the Zodiacal names of these star systems??? How is it we refer to the Cygnus constellation as a flying bird, just as the very ancient did, which is encouraging because it tells us we still have this connection to our ancient past when it comes to the cosmos and our perception of them! The fact that the ancients, who likely sought refuge in caves, etc., presumably after the last earth shattering catastrophe, also knew – even way back then of these associations, is encouraging! We are a species with amnesia but thankfully this doesn’t have to be a permanent state, I do believe we are waking up from the latest disaster created “Coma” and are quickly regaining ground! While it baffles the mind that not only is a dyson sphere observed, on KIC -8462852, there are also “signals” that appear to be broadcasting numerical equations corresponding to the number 11 and that also relate to the Great Pyramids, Gobeckli Tepi, and itger ruuns such as Baàlbek/Heliopolis!
    Now Come on, Tabby, it’s as if you’ve been programmed to state, “it’s not aliens”…. but while your words may say “it’s a natural phenomenon”, your own vibrational emissions scream It’s ALIENS, as in an INTELLIGENTY CREATED STRUCTURE!!! “, I wish mainstreams science could wrap it’s programmed mind around this, OUR TRUTH CAN ONLY BE DISCOVERED IF WE MERGE OUR HARDCORE SCIENCE MINDSET WITH INHERENT PROFOUND AND COSMICALLY CONNECTED SPIRITUALITY!” Our ancestors knew far more about the cosmos, were far more connected to nature and the stars, understanding we must work in concert with nature, our planet, and its natural environment, and the cosmos as they seem to have successfully merged the “Spiritual with the Scientific”, thus creating a fascinating and compelling hypothesis of ever entangled, inner connectedness, a school of phenomenal thought! So far removed from where mainstream science is today, albeit, as we discover more and more ancient ruins, we are ever so slowly, digging in our philosophical heels, having to be dragged, resisting and kicking and screaming the whole way, towards our actual TRUTH, one that is far more incredible than we will ever subscribe to, if we continue to stay embedded as we are now, in this limiting “Newtonian” hypothesis which promotes so much separation, randomness and dividing, we find ourselves spinning in circles and not really explaining bubkas!

  45. What if to the Nth power….. Bogus science. Just guess work. Sadly, this is what we are delegated to.
    Maybe in the future we will be able to get resolution to the extent we can acquire truly factual data. For now, it's all supposition and hypothesis.
    Sadly, scienctists today have built their foundations on too many layers of hypothesis and "theory" rather than rock solid data. 💔

  46. If aliens ever come, and we still have assholes like the Al Quida thugs and the fat assed North Korean despot Kim Jong ILL still operating on our planet, we will look like dangerous animals.
    Might be our doom.

  47. How about massive asteroids closer to Earth than that star ? The moon is small and fully covers many stars when it crosses the sky – To build structures that dim a star you need to entitely mine many whole planets, just to save one planet needs ? You need more energy and materials for that work than the ones that star provides on the time you setup the structures, its like using your car gas tank for 5.000 miles just to get an AAA battery when all that gas could run your home

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