Cosmic dust, not 'alien megastructure,' veils mysterious star Jan 04, 2018 0 264 12345 AFPMiamiIt's been called the"most mysterious star in the universe," bigger than the sun and yet brightening and dimming in an odd way that suggested to some an alien megastructure might be circling it.But a study out Wednesday, compiled by more than 100 scientists who have been observing the star named KIC 8462852, puts the alien rumors to rest."Dust is most likely the reason why the star's light appears to dim and brighten," said lead author Tabetha Boyajian, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University, for whom"Tabby's Star" is nicknamed."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."The initial discovery of the star was made with the help of NASA's planet-hunting space telescope, known as Kepler.Kepler detects planets by tracking moments when a star's light dims as an object passes in front of it.The unusual dips in brightness in Tabby's Star -- more than 1,000 light-years away, about 50 percent bigger and 1,000 degrees hotter than the sun -- aroused global interest.Citizen scientists, known as the Planet Hunters, were the ones who discovered the star's strange behavior, by sifting through massive amounts of data from the NASA Kepler mission."If it wasn't for people with an unbiased look on our universe, this unusual star would have been overlooked," Boyajian said. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Bannon slams Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Jan 04, 2018 0 594 US Congress kicks off new year session with 'plates full' Jan 04, 2018 0 211 Washington sets example as most sustainable city Jan 04, 2018 0 319 Two Senate Democrats sworn in, GOP margin cut NYT WASHINGTON Two new senators ” Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Tina Smith, D-Minn. ” were sworn in Wednesday, in a history-laden ceremony attended by three current and former vice presidents. Vice President Mike Pence, in his .. Ecuador's jailed VP stripped of office AFP Quito Ecuador's Vice President Jorge Glas lost his title late Tuesday because he has been absent for more than three months -- locked up in prison on a six-year sentence for corruption. Glas, 48, is the .. Rare Arctic storm hits US Southeast REUTERS CHARLESTON A rare winter storm hit the US Southeast on Wednesday, bringing Florida's capital its first snow in three decades and snarling travel, while New England braced for a"bombogenesis" whopper .. Death toll from Peru bus crash rises to 48 LIMA At least 48 people were killed in Peru when a bus collided with a truck and careened off a cliff along a sharply curving highway north of the capital Lima, emergency services officials said. The accident on Tuesday took .. 16 missing after Peru bridge collapses Lima Peruvian rescue workers were combing a river Wednesday for 16 people missing after the bridge they were on collapsed in a valley northwest of the mountain-top ruins of Machu Picchu, officials said. The bridge, close .. Top US refugee official to retire this month REUTERS WASHINGTON One of the top US government officials working on refugee issues announced her impending retirement on Tuesday, and refugee advocates expressed concern about the fate of the country's .. Bannon has 'lost his mind': Trump WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump broke with his former close campaign aide and chief White House strategist Steve Bannon on Wednesday after the far-right populist lambasted the president's son and son-in-law .. First Florida snow in 29 years Miami It's called snow, something residents of North Florida hadn't seen in almost three decades until Wednesday, and it is part of a deep-freeze striking the entire US East Coast. The US National Weather ..