‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Kickstarter Just Met Its Goal

Hopefully now scientists can figure out wtf is up with this weird star
Illustration of a Dyson sphere around a star
Illustration of a Dyson sphere around a star Danielle Futselaar/SETI International

There’s probably not an alien megastructure around the star KIC 8462852, but there is definitely something weird going on there. As reported in 2015, the star’s light dims by as much as 20 percent–way too much to be a passing planet–and there’s no good scientific explanation as to why.

Scientists don’t know when the star will dim again, so to see what’s causing the mysterious blips, they need to watch it constantly. But using telescopes isn’t free. To help pay for telescope time, Tabetha Boyajian, the Yale astrophysicist leading the research, started a Kickstarter last month to raise $100,000.

Now, with just hours left before the campaign closes, the team has met and exceeded its funding goal, getting the last $10,000 in just the last few hours.

Meeting the goal means the team will be able to continuously monitor the star for an entire year using the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. If one of the telescopes spots something weird happening around “Tabby’s Star,” it’ll send out an alert to other astronomers, both amateurs and professionals, to turn their telescopes toward the star. Hopefully that means the mystery will soon be solved.