The “alien megastructure” star that has been puzzling us for the past few years might have a more ordinary explanation: an orbiting Saturn-like planet, complete with wobbling rings.
In 2015, a group led by Tabetha Boyajian, then of Yale University, found that a star called KIC 8462852 had dimmed several times over a few years in a way they couldn’t explain.
The star had been observed by the Kepler space telescope between 2009 and 2013 as it hunted for exoplanets by staring at a patch of sky. When a planet passes in front of a star, an event called a transit, the light intensity dips slightly and then returns to normal.
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