Wednesday, December 7th – Tabetha Boyajian (KIC 8462852, aka ‘Tabby’s Star’)

A photograph of Tabetha Boyajian, smiling (Yale)

Wednesday, December 7th – Tabetha Boyajian (KIC 8462852, aka ‘Tabby’s Star’)

It is a great pleasure to finally be able to sit down and have a chat with Tabetha, whose story I’ve been following along with you for more than a year now. What IS Tabby’s Star? While we all latch onto the idea that it could be an “alien megastructure,” why can’t we just assume that’s the most likely explanation? What is Occam’s Razer?
What happens when dips in light are detected again, and who is watching? 

We explore all of this AND MORE in this episode of Amy On The Radio this evening!

Guest Bio

Tabetha Boyajian is an astronomer at LSU and lead author of the infamous paper, Where’s The Flux, about the odd and mysterious light curve behavior of what has been described as the weirdest star ever observed in space— Kepler Object KIC-8462852. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Yale, receiving her masters and doctoral degree in physics from Georgia State. Her research interests lie in determining the fundamental properties of stars and in characterizing exoplanet host stars. She is secretary and steering committee member of Division G Stars and Stellar Physics of the International Astronomical Union. She also manages the Planet Hunters project which allows citizen scientists to analyze Kepler mission data and contribute to the hunt for exoplanets by grading light curves using human eyes as opposed to relying solely on human-created algorithms.

Episode Links

Related Episode:

Sign into the archives to hear SETI’s own Seth Shostak discuss the Allen Telescope Array, KIC-8462852, and the quest for intelligent live outside Earth! Missed this episode live? Not a member? Subscribe for access to the full show archives, 24/7 on your computer or iTunes/Google Play mobile device!