About 1480 light-years away from Earth, a star is doing something astronomers have never seen before. Every now and then, at random intervals, its light dips by as much as 22 percent. That's way too much to be a planet. And the star (officially named KIC 8462852, but informally called "Tabby's Star" or "Boyajian's Star") seems to have gotten dramatically darker over the past century. This odd behavior defies all known explanations, and astronomer Jason Wright has pointed out that these light patterns are similar to what we might expect if aliens built a complex of machines around the star to harvest its energy. But even Wright admits it's much more likely there's a natural explanation. In September, he and coauthor Steinn Sigurd̵sson rounded up and analyzed some of the most common explanations. Wright has been been fleshing out those analyses in a series of posts on his blog. We've rounded up our favorite explanations here, in rough order from least likely to most plausible.
Read More: Popular Science