Orbiting Reflectors→

The Atlantic:

The light pattern suggests there is a big mess of matter circling the star, in tight formation. That would be expected if the star were young. When our solar system first formed, four and a half billion years ago, a messy disk of dust and debris surrounded the sun, before gravity organized it into planets, and rings of rock and ice.
But this unusual star isn’t young. If it were young, it would be surrounded by dust that would give off extra infrared light. There doesn’t seem to be an excess of infrared light around this star.
It appears to be mature.

It’d be very cool to find evidence of life elsewhere in the universe, even if it is an insurmountable distance away.
We won’t know for certain if that’s what’s going on… well, at all, really. But we won’t have even a good guess until a few years down the line, after further research. In the meantime, Jeph Jacques has launched a new comic about the mass of satellites that could be orbiting that distant star.