New observations of perhaps the weirdest Star scientists know have finally put to rest one of the most engaging hypotheses to explain its wild behavior: that aliens had built a giant structure around it that was occasionally blocking some of its light.
after an astronomical term referring to a star's brightness as affected by distance, and to reflect the scientists' discomfort with a paper so full of guesses, albeit educated ones.
Another astronomer who had been wondering whether Kepler could identify a giant alien-created structure thought the dips looked awfully suspicious, like a way of capturing the star's energy for a civilization that has run out of fuel.
The SETI Institute, which is named for its work searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, although its scientists tackle a much broader range of scientific puzzles, studied the star as well.
But the new paper confirms that the dips were made by something fairly transparent and with small particle sizes, like dust, rather than something large and opaque like a structure.
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