It’s not uncommon for stars to blink every now and then, but typically there is a pattern, and scientists put it down to passing planets. Over 87 days, two stars that are close to each other flickered 28 times, but scientists don’t know why.
The stars are known as HD 139139, and they were spotted acting strangely by the Kepler space telescope. Kepler’s job is to find stars by searching for regular decreases in their light source. That is typically caused by a planet passing between the star and the telescope, which are called transits.
Unlike Anything Ever Seen
Although the transits would be a reasonable explanation, they come in fours and don’t happen all that often. The timings seemed completely random, and it’s thought that something strange is going on in space. It could be a planetary system, but it would be extremely complex and is highly unlikely.
Another explanation is that it’s an asteroid releasing dust, but that is also doubtful. The last suggestion is that it could be some form of alien activity, but Andrew Vanderburg of the University of Texas says humans often blame aliens. Vanderburg says we often blamed things we don’t understand on aliens, only for it to be explained later that it’s something else.
While it’s unlikely to be aliens, something strange is going on in space and scientists will be working hard to figure out the explanation for the mysterious blinking stars.