Public Talk

The Most Mysterious Star in the Galaxy

December 12, 2016

When: December 12, 2016 7:00PM
Where: Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara

Tabetha Boyajian

Louisiana State University

The NASA Kepler Mission provided 4 year long, ultra-precise light curves for over 150,000 stars - in hopes of finding the sign of transiting planets. In Kepler's field of view was KIC 8462852, a star that citizen scientists identified to have unusual, random patterns in its light curve. I will talk about the discovery, the current leading theories, and future work planned to study this star.

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Tabetha Boyajian

We are pleased that Prof. Tabetha Boyajian will be speaking at our event in December! Prof. Boyajian is an assistant professor at Louisiana State University studying the fundamental properties of stars and works to characterize the host stars of planets in other systems. She has recently studied a distant star known as KIC 8462852 whose light is being blocked by something massive. The cause of the blockage is something that remains a mystery to scienctists and many theories have been put forward, including the possibility of an alien megastructure. In February 2016, Prof. Boyajian gave a TED talk on this mysterious object and how scientists are looking for answers and testing their hypotheses on the cause of its brightness variation. Prof. Boyajian is also the manager of the Planet Hunters project, which utilizes citizen scientists to search for signals of planets among the Kepler space telescope data.

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