Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Weird traveling space boulder could be alien ship, say scientists

This diagram shows the orbit of the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua as it passes through the Solar System. It shows the predicted path of ‘Oumuamua and the new course taking the new measured velocity of the object into account. ‘Oumuamua passed the Interstellar asteroid could be 'alien' mission searching for life
Doris Mccormick | 09 November, 2018, 09:13

Another study suggested other objects similar to Oumuamua will eventually enter our solar system, with some of them carrying the building blocks of life.

However, according to a recent article from two Havard researchers, Oumuamua could be something completely different, namely a "fully operational probe sent voluntarily near the Earth by an extraterrestrial civilization". The excessive acceleration could be explained by the pressure of solar radiation, or "solar sail".

'Oumuamua is the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere.

Oumuamua, which is the Hawaiian name for "pathfinder" or "scout", was discovered in October 2017 by the PanSTARRS1 telescope after it spotted a new spot of light coming from a unusual direction at an unusually fast speed.

"The likelihood of Galactic panspermia is strongly dependent upon the survival lifetime of the putative organisms as well as the velocity of the transporter", according to a paper published in The Astronomical Journal by Manasvi Lingam and the aforementioned Loeb.

A soon to be released paper written by researchers Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb from the Havard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics points to the change in speed as Oumuamua passed and left our solar system - odd behaviour for a rock.

The light-sail Loeb thinks may power Oumuamua is not unlike technology being developed now here on Earth. "Technology the light sails can be used to transport cargo between planets or between the stars", the researchers note.

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"Because I am a scientist, not a believer, I rely on evidence to find possible physical explanations for observed phenomena".

Last November, astronomers detected an outer-space object unlike anything detected before.

Another alternative? It was an actual alien spacecraft sent to observe Earth.

"It's certainly ingenious to show that an object the size of Oumuamua might be sent by aliens to another star system with nothing but a solar sail for power", Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., told NBC News.

'Like most scientists, I would love there to be convincing evidence of alien life, but this isn't it, ' said Alan Fitzsimmons, an astrophysicist at Queens University, Belfast. Even the spinning motion of a damaged solar sail would be far more strongly influenced by the radiation forces than seen, he explained.

Of course, the pair aren't claiming that Oumuamua's definitely of alien origin. "But until every other possibility has been exhausted a dozen times over, even the authors probably don't believe it". "It is impossible to guess the objective of Oumuamua without more data".

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