To make his discovery, Schaefer had to dig deep down into the astronomy archives at Harvard. It turns out, astronomers have data on KIC8462852 dating back as far as 1890.
By analyzing over 1,200 measurements of this star's brightness taken from 1890 through 1989, Schaefer found that the irregular dimming of KIC8462852 has been going on for over 100 years. Schaefer published his findings in the online pre-print server arxiv.org.
What's more, he explains in his paper that this "century-long dimming trend requires an estimated 648,000 giant comets (each with 200 km diameter) all orchestrated to pass in front of the star within the last century," which he said is "completely implausible."
Yeah that comet theory is out the door. What is interesting is that the star had been studied but it came up empty.
Schaifer isn't the only one interested in learning more about KIC8462852. Late last year, astronomer Doug Vakoch and his team at the new organization called SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International — not to be confused with the SETI Institute — went hunting for aliens around KIC8462852.
They searched for signals that an alien civilization might be beaming toward Earth either in radio or visible wavelengths, but ultimately they came up empty handed. So, if it is aliens, then they're being awfully quiet.
However, that doesn't mean that they use radio or visible waves to communicate. Perhaps they use a form of telepathy that allows instant communication. The idea that they can build something that can block 20% of the light of the sun would make their technology pretty advanced indeed.