Searching for "Tabby's Star" Analogs in Stripe 82
"Tabby's Star" is an anomalous F star with repeated short-term variability, and a steady 3% dimming over 4-years. The star spent ~8% of the Kepler 4-year light curve in the short-duration dimming state. As LaCourse notes, no analog has been found with Kepler. Neither the short- or long-term variability in this object are currently understood so discoveries of additional examples are desperately needed.
Stripe82 was a 10-year multi-epoch photometric catalog by SDSS, covering ~300 sq deg with 70-90 epochs in ugriz. More than 10,000 objects were identified as variable with F star colors from Stripe82, with many likely pulsators or eclipsing binaries. The photometric precision of Stripe82 is sufficient to detect the long-term, non-stationary variability observed from "Tabby's Star". Additionally, the 8% duty cycle of short-term dimming events should stand out as several aperiodic outliers in the Stripe82 light curves. Finally, the near-simultaneous multi-band data from SDSS may provide important clues as to nature of this new class of variable star.
Journal of Brief Ideas references
Published: 15 Aug, 2016