An asteroid rock named ‘Oumuamua’, first discovered over a year ago, is the first interstellar object to visit our solar system that’s unlike any comet or asteroid observed before.
A new study examining ‘Oumuamua’s orbit hints that they might have. The question is it merely an odd shaped asteroid or a ship built by aliens disguised as a space rock?
Two astronomers with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) took a closer look at the cigar-shaped object. They looked at the unusual acceleration of the asteroid as it travelled through our solar system. Their aim was to figure out what may have caused the unexpected boost in the object’s motion.
The acceleration the asteroid travelled is much more like that of a comet. But prior analysis of ‘Oumuamua (which means “messenger from afar arriving first” in Hawaiian) suggested that the strange object was no comet.
One theory is that pressure from solar radiation could propel ‘Oumuamua if the object — or part of it — is thin enough and strong enough to act as a type of “light sail,” which generates propulsion using solar energy.
Whilst a structure like this could possibly form naturally it also points to being artificially created by intelligent aliens according to the Harvard researchers.
As ‘Oumuamua’ flew through our solar system many scientists investigated if it might in fact be an alien spacecraft. Astronomers in Australia pointed a powerful telescope at the 1,300-foot-long (400 meters) ‘Oumuamua to see if they could detect radio transmissions that would indicate signs of life on board the object (or ship). But there was only silence.
Strangely as the object left our solar system images captured it speeding up. Though no scientist found it resembled materials like a comet which could have explained its speed. And this was confirmed by the Harvard researchers.
The researchers calculated, the so-called sail would have to be thin enough to respond to the pressures of radiation, yet still withstand travelling vast distances and withstand wear and tear that comes with flying through space. The scientists calculated that a solar sail with a thickness of about 0.01 to 0.04 inches (0.3 to 0.9 millimeters) could survive the inevitable collisions and erosion that ‘Oumuamua likely encountered during its long journey.
“If radiation pressure is the accelerating force, then ‘Oumuamua represents a new class of thin interstellar material,” the scientists said.
Perhaps the solar sail could have naturally been formed by debris from another solar system. Made by for es natural to that environment that we have no idea of.
There is a chance the space rock was deliberately created by extraterrestrial intelligence. One scenario is that ‘Oumuamua’ is a bit of light-sail debris broken off from an advanced form of alien technology drifting aimlessly in space.
Or maybe it was sent here on purpose, the scientists added.
“A more exotic scenario is that ‘Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilisation’ the study authors wrote.
Because the opportunity to capture images or samples of ‘Oumuamua is long gone, “its likely origin and mechanical properties could only be deciphered by searching for other objects of its type in the future,” the researchers concluded.