“Thou shalt not embarrass thyself and thy colleagues by claiming false planets.” -Bill Cochran
Last year, Penn State astronomer Jason Wright made headlines by claiming that one of the stars being observed by NASA’s Kepler mission might contain alien megastructures around it. The large dips in its light curve didn’t make sense in the context of planets, and the star KIC 8462852 became the target of a great many follow-ups.
A binary companion was found, along with no signs of excess infrared emission or artificial radio signatures. However, archival data recently found that the star dimmed by about 20% over the past century. While the alien megastructures possibility cannot be ruled out, a great many other astrophysical possibilities still survive.