[ExI] More Tabby's Star news

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 7 20:47:11 UTC 2016

Just pure speculation on my part, but I was thinking a large object -- say a big Jupiter or a brown dwarf -- falls into the star X years ago -- where X is the number of years needed for it to dim the star enough. (In other words, we're not seeing the actual collision, but only the aftermath (even adding to light travel time and all that), however long that took. Of course, this is adjusting the hypothesis to fit the data, but that's not verboten, right? All one need do then is look for independent evidence of this -- as opposed to just adding ever more epicycles.)

I'm only offering this up as a speculation here too. I don't know what happened, and you might be correct. It's simply something rather mundane going on. All the neat stuff -- if you like that sort of thing* -- in Saturn's rings seems to be caused by collisions and gravity rather than anything exotic.

I'm guessing the folks doing this work are looking at similar stars to see if there's some pattern or whether Tabby's Star is unique.



Sample my latest Kindle book,

"The Late Mr. Gurlitt," at:http://mybook.to/Gurlitt

* I don't. I find these planetary rings garish.

From: Anders <anders at aleph.se>To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org 
Sent: Saturday, August 6, 2016 5:43 AM
Subject: Re: [ExI] More Tabby's Star news

A planet shouldn't dim a star much. To dim it you need to reduce the rate of fusion reactions, typically by making it less dense - planets instead add opaque and dense "metals" (astronomer slang for "not hydrogen and helium") that heat things up. Besides, the components of a dissolved planet would take ages to reach the core.

I think the cause is some mundane astrophysics, but there is room
  for a lot of weird effects from mundane astrophysics. Just consider
  stellar oscillations, where all sorts of nonlinear things happen.
  Maybe this is the first case of a super-long periodic variable.

I was squinting at the light curve and trying to get it to fit my
  conception of Dyson-building, and I cannot get it to fit any
  rational approach I can see. Of course, you can build megastructures
  just for fun or according  to a random schedule. 

On 2016-08-06 04:46, Dan TheBookMan wrote:


Could it just be something rather mundane but rare to actually
     see in such detail, such as the aftermath of a planet falling
     into the star?

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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