Is every year this interesting for Astronomy?

So, you remember Kepler 186f, a smallish planet in its star’s habitable zone.

And then there was the discovery of red ice and blue skies (well, twilight) on Pluto.

And then the water on Mars.

And now? Well, now we have this peculiar arrangement of mysterious objects orbiting a star (boringly named KIC 8462852, apparently) way out near the Cygnus constellation. What could they be, these objects?

SETI researchers have long suggested that we might be able to detect distant extraterrestrial civilizations, by looking for enormous technological artifacts orbiting other stars. Wright and his co-authors say the unusual star’s light pattern is consistent with a “swarm of megastructures,” perhaps stellar-light collectors, technology designed to catch energy from the star.

Well, well. At last one natural explanation has been proposed, but still, pretty cool.

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2 thoughts on “Is every year this interesting for Astronomy?”

  1. It has been a pretty good year for space. The news from Pluto and Mars will be hard to beat, although I’m really looking forward to when the Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter next year.

  2. I didn’t know anything was aimed at Jupiter, but through the magic of social media, I’m sure I’ll hear about cool stuff as data come in. And after this year, I bet there will be Cool Stuff to hear about! If Pluto can offer that much unexpected coolness, surely Jupiter and its moons will have some surprises in store, too!

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