TED Radio Hour

Tabetha Boyajian: Did Amateur Astronomers Discover Aliens?


Tabetha Boyajian on the TED stage
Bret Hartman, TED

Tabetha Boyajian on the TED stage

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Citizen Science.

About Tabetha Boyajian's TED Talk

In 2009, the Kepler telescope was sent out to search for other planets. But when astronomer Tabetha Boyajian asked thousands of amateurs to comb through Kepler's data, they found something entirely unexpected.

About Tabetha Boyajian

Planet hunter Tabetha Boyajian studies KIC 8462852 (dubbed "Tabby's star"): a star exhibiting bizarre variations in brightness. These fluctuations have led to a host of theories ranging from comet dust to alien megastructures.

Boyajian is a postdoc with the Yale Exoplanet group, whose research is assisted by the Planet Hunters — a citizen science group that combs data from the NASA Kepler Space Mission for evidence of exoplanets and other unusual interstellar activity.

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