View Full Version : What might be learned from observations of KIC 8462852 in the non-radio spectrum?

2015-Oct-23, 01:58 AM
Hi all

The KIC 8462852 story has been done to death, but one thing that I haven't seen is good discussion of what might be learned from future non-radio observations of the star and the mysterious objects in its orbit. What hypotheses might be realistically excluded by these observations? I realize that SETI folks will be doing extensive observations in the radio spectrum, but I suspect those will come up negative, even if the objects are, in fact, artificial. It would be wonderful if we could learn more about the nature of these objects directly, with additional observations.

An alert notice was posted today requesting observations from amateur astronomers (https://www.aavso.org/aavso-alert-notice-532). Do amateur telescopes realistically have the power to give us useful information about this star and its objects?

I'm not an astronomer, just really curious about what tools might be useful here. Thanks for your input!


2015-Oct-23, 10:08 AM
A lot of your questions have some kind of answer here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1510.04606. It is not clear that there is an object in orbit around this star. It is a relatively young Type F star, and so if there IS an artificial object around it, it is not made by local life. Also, the star's axis of rotation is such that this transit is not a planet. There were two very dissimilar deep events about 700 days apart. If the dip is from something in a highly inclined 700 day orbit, we'll get our next opportunity to see it in 2017. The paper speculates that the dips are aperiodic, and coming from (perhaps) a heavy bombardment period of large cometary bodies, and that the dust clouds dissipate before one orbit.