Last year, the dimming of a star roughly 1,300 light-years away known as KIC 8462852, or “Tabby’s Star,” led to theories about alien structures. Of course, there were also more mundane theories, like clouds of dust or dusty comets, or maybe the collision of a couple planets. That last one would probably be a cool thing to watch, even if it isn’t as interesting as “Aliens, man, aliens.”
Being both a writer and from a family of habitural liars, I have quite the imagination. So when I first read about this, I immediately started picturing aliens, scrambling to build a Dyson sphere around their planet after they picked up one of our news broadcasts and learned that we’ve managed to invent Facebook, three different pills for impotence, and a Justin Bieber bobblehead, but no warp drive, so there’s still time to avoid us entirely if they hurry. (Last year, I originally thought they found out Donald Trump was nominated for president, but after reading more on the subject I learned the star started dimming between 2011 and 2013, so that didn’t fit the timeline.)
Recently, the star dimmed again, and that stirred up more alien theories…and my imagination. Now I’m thinking maybe this thing is a great big trap, meant to lure unsuspecting humans out to KIC 8462852 so the aliens can get started on their new cookbook, “To Serve Man.” (Yes, I spend way too much time watching reruns of “The Twilight Zone.”)
On the other hand, maybe the aliens are trying to help. Maybe they think we’ll send a representative, like a prominent politician. Or all of our planet’s politicians. THAT would do more for human society than anything else I can think of.
What do you think is causing the star to dim?