A curious case of missing stars recalls an ancient mystery about the brightest star of all - 2020-01-12
A team of astronomers has been comparing sky surveys done decades apart and keeps finding examples of stars that have seemingly disappeared.
Press reports have naturally jumped on the findings with exotic theories, such as aliens enclosing the stars with Dyson spheres, but the scientific paper, while mentioning such possibilities, concentrates on the phenomenon of "red transient" stars that might account for the missing objects.
Another possibility are "flare stars," which experience dramatic eruptions. Since about 100 of the missing stars were only seen once, and not in other images before or after, they may be good candidates for flare stars caught in the act. But that doesn't explain all of the vanishing objects.