University of Leicester
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The First Post-Kepler Brightness Dips of KIC 8462852

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posted on 2019-07-24, 15:00 authored by TS Boyajian, R Alonso, A Ammerman, D Armstrong, AA Ramos, K Barkaoui, TG Beatty, Z Benkhaldoun, P Benni, RO Bentley, A Berdyugin, S Berdyugina, S Bergeron, A Bieryla, MG Blain, AC Blanco, EHL Bodman, A Boucher, M Bradley, SM Brincat, TG Brink, J Briol, DJA Brown, J Budaj, A Burdanov, B Cale, MA Carbo, RC Garcia, WJ Clark, GC Clayton, JL Clem, PH Coker, EM Cook, CM Copperwheat, JL Curtis, RM Cutri, B Cseh, CH Cynamon, AJ Daniels, JRA Davenport, HJ Deeg, R De Lorenzo, T De Jaeger, J-B Desrosiers, J Dolan, DJ Dowhos, F Dubois, R Durkee, S Dvorak, L Easley, N Edwards, TG Ellis, E Erdelyi, S Ertel, RG Farfan, J Farihi, AV Filippenko, E Foxell, D Gandolfi, F Garcia, F Giddens, M Gillon, J-L Gonzalez-Carballo, C Gonzalez-Fernandez, JIG Hernandez, KA Graham, KA Greene, J Gregorio, N Hallakoun, O Hanyecz, GR Harp, GW Henry, E Herrero, CF Hildbold, D Hinzel, G Holgado, B Ignacz, I Ilyin, VD Ivanov, E Jehin, HE Jermak, S Johnston, S Kafka, C Kalup, E Kardasis, S Kaspi, GM Kennedy, F Kiefer, CL Kielty, D Kessler, H Kiiskinen, TL Killestein, RA King, V Kollar, H Korhonen, C Kotnik, R Konyves-Toth, L Kriskovics, N Krumm, V Krushinsky, E Kundra, F-R Lachapelle, D LaCourse, P Lake, K Lam, GP Lamb, D Lane, MW Lau, P Lewin, C Lintott, C Lisse, L Logie, N Longeard, ML Villanueva, EW Ludington, A Mainzer, L Malo, C Maloney, A Mann, A Mantero, M Marengo, J Marchant, MJM Gonzalez, JR Masiero, JC Mauerhan, J McCormac, A McNeely, HYA Meng, M Miller, LA Molnar, JC Morales, BM Morris, MW Muterspaugh, D Nespral, CR Nugent, KM Nugent, A Odasso, D O'Keeffe, A Oksanen, JM O'Meara, A Ordasi, H Osborn, JJ Ott, JR Parks, DR Perez, V Petriew, R Pickard, A Pal, P Plavchan, D Pollacco, FP Nunez, FJ Pozuelos, S Rau, S Redfield, H Relles, I Ribas, J Richards, JLO Saario, EJ Safron, JM Sallai, K Sarneczky, BE Schaefer, CF Schumer, M Schwartzendruber, MH Siegel, APV Siemion, BD Simmons, JD Simon, S Simon-Diaz, ML Sitko, H Socas-Navarro, A Sodor, D Starkey, IA Steele, G Stone, KG Strassmeier, RA Street, T Sullivan, J Suomela, JJ Swift, GM Szabo, R Szabo, R Szakats, T Szalai, AM Tanner, B Toledo-Padron, T Tordai, AHMJ Triaud, JD Turner, JH Ulowetz, M Urbanik, S Vanaverbeke, A Vanderburg, K Vida, BP Vietje, J Vinko, K Von Braun, EO Waagen, D Walsh, CA Watson, RC Weir, K Wenzel, CW Plaza, MW Williamson, JT Wright, MC Wyatt, W Zheng, G Zsidi
We present a photometric detection of the first brightness dips of the unique variable star KIC 8462852 since the end of the Kepler space mission in 2013 May. Our regular photometric surveillance started in 2015 October, and a sequence of dipping began in 2017 May continuing on through the end of 2017, when the star was no longer visible from Earth. We distinguish four main 1%–2.5% dips, named "Elsie," "Celeste," "Skara Brae," and "Angkor," which persist on timescales from several days to weeks. Our main results so far are as follows: (i) there are no apparent changes of the stellar spectrum or polarization during the dips and (ii) the multiband photometry of the dips shows differential reddening favoring non-gray extinction. Therefore, our data are inconsistent with dip models that invoke optically thick material, but rather they are in-line with predictions for an occulter consisting primarily of ordinary dust, where much of the material must be optically thin with a size scale << 1 μm, and may also be consistent with models invoking variations intrinsic to the stellar photosphere. Notably, our data do not place constraints on the color of the longer-term "secular" dimming, which may be caused by independent processes, or probe different regimes of a single process.


The LCOGT observations used in this project were made possible by the collective effort of 1762 supporters as part of the Kickstarter campaign "The Most Mysterious Star in the Galaxy."140 The authors gratefully acknowledge and humbly extend a special thanks for substantial support from Las Cumbres Observatory, Glenn Klakring, Fred Boyajian and Bobbie Staley, Alex Mazingue, The Bible Family, Claudio Bottaccini, Joachim De Lombaert, Amity and Brigid Williams, Kevin Fischer, William Hopkins, Milton Bosch, Zipeng Wang, T.J., D.R., and C.C. The authors thank Peter Foukal for helpful conversations. A.T. wishes to acknowledge her mother, Celeste, for all her love and efforts to help her become an astronomer. A.T. also wishes to thank the Boyajian's Star Kickstarter team for electing to name dip "Celeste" after her mom who passed away in 2017 June. Mom would have been pleased and would have "got it." H.D. acknowledges support from grant ESP2015-65712-C5-4-R of the Spanish Secretary of State for R&D&i (MINECO). This research made use of data acquired with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, in the island of La Palma. J.B. acknowledges the support from the VEGA 2/0031/18 and APVV 15-0458 grants. The Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. E.H.L.B.'s research was supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program with the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, administered by Universities Space Research Association under contract with NASA. A.V.F.'s group is grateful for financial assistance from the TABASGO Foundation, the Christopher R. Redlich Fund, Gary and Cynthia Bengier (T.d.J. is a Bengier Postdoctoral fellow), and the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (U.C. Berkeley). This project was supported by the National



Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2018, 853:L8 (14pp)

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


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