My name’s Morgan (or /u/Zaenon, if you’re one of those people) and I am a grad student at CEA Saclay, near Paris, France. I’ll be starting my PhD in cosmology there in just a few weeks, so while I pretty much never have the chance to get down to the scale of a single star in my work, I still think Tabby’s Star is the coolest thing ever.
In fact, I’ve been talking about it so much there’s a bit of a running joke in my group where people will always say "Have you heard about Tabby’s Star?!" in an overly excited voice whenever I’m around and somebody who hasn’t also is. I also get lots of jokes about how they’re sure I’ll never take off my WTF t-shirt once I get it - and they might just be right!
Apart from the obvious, scientific interest, what I also love about Tabby’s Star is the meta around it. From the discovery by Planet Hunters, to the success of the Kickstarter, to our community on the subreddit and the involvement of wonderful people and astronomers like Tabby and Jason Wright, I think the WTF project is setting an unprecedented example of wonderful science accessible to anybody who cares to jump in. And it’s not just outreach, either - I really feel like I am part of something super exciting, despite the actual, active science part being out of my reach given my current skills and knowledge.
And, well, I won’t lie - discussing the Fermi Paradox after varying amounts of beers (starting at none, of course!) is one of my favorite activities. However improbable it is, the fact that there is even the slightest chance for Tabby’s Star to turn out to be related to ETIs is a great excuse to do just that… And if you ask me, there is no such thing as a bad excuse to discuss alien life!