Cigar-Shaped Object May Have Been Alien Spacecraft, Researchers Claim
- Author: Joey Payne Nov 10, 2018,
Nov 10, 2018, 1:18
The scientists behind this paper are postdoctoral researcher Shmuel Bialy and professor Abraham Loeb, director of the Institute for Theory and Computation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
"But, Loeb said, the fact that we've observed one interstellar object like Oumuama suggests that others may be out there". Nicknamed "Oumuamua", the object has an exceptionally odd shape that distinguishes it from most asteroids and comets: It's a stadium-sized mass with a flat, elongated body that is reddish in color.
"The new study challenges the object's classification as a comet and suggests that under an exotic scenario, "'Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization".
A cigar-shaped asteroid flying through space in our direction could be a huge alien solar sail on a mission to find signs of life, scientists claim. But after a thorough mathematical analysis of how interstellar object accelerated as it flew past the Sun, they say Omwamwi can be a space ship.
Oumuamua, Hawaiian for "messenger" or "scout", was first viewed by telescopes in October 2017.
The object was said to be 10 times longer than it is wide and it traveled at speeds of almost 200,000 miles per hour.
The Harvard scientists speculated that solar radiation hitting a solar sail could explain why the mysterious object started moving faster.
Going forward, the researchers believe we should search for other interstellar objects in our sky. "Carl Sagan once said, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" and this paper is distinctly lacking in evidence nevermind extraordinary evidence". Other scientists deemed it a comet, despite the lack of a traditional tail.
"Any functional spacecraft would nearly certainly retract its solar sail once in interstellar space to prevent damage", Jackson said.
Lightsails are a proposed method of spacecraft propulsion which uses radiation pressure exerted from sunlight or large mirrors.
Due to Oumuamua's abnormal speeds and trajectory, researchers concluded that the object is likely no longer operational.
So far, there is no obvious origin for 'Oumuamua.
Governments do have secret plans in place for the possibility of an alien landing, but they'd fall apart instantly if it ever actually happened, an astronomer has told LBC. Studies re-examining the light signals more carefully suggest that Oumuamua could be very elongated cigar-shaped to pancake-shaped."What is clear is that it can't have a shape that is almost spherical - like normal rocks we know", he said.Loeb said the mystery of Oumuamua's origin remains.