The Most Mysterious Star in the Galaxy

The Most Mysterious Star in the Galaxy

The object known unofficially as Tabby’s Star dims every so often in a chaotic pattern—and nobody knows why.

Late last year, the PlanetHunters group of citizen-scientists found a perfectly ordinary star behaving very weirdly—fading in brightness every so often, by very different amounts, in a chaotic pattern. In a skillful paper, Tabatha (“Tabby”) Boyajian at Yale pointed out the horrible dilemma posed by the star, which is tucked up under the western wing of Cygnus the Swan.

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