Research

Scientists At Odds About Whether Space Rock Oumuamua is an Alien Probe

Scientists At Odds About Whether Space Rock Oumuamua is an Alien Probe

What could possibly be an alien probe was discovered soaring around our Solar System, according to Harvard University astronomers. "It's already a known phenomenon that when radiation hits an object, it can cause acceleration", says Bialy.

Harvard researchers have suggested a mysterious interstellar object that was spotted floating in space in 2017 could be an "alien" spacecraft sent on a reconnaissance mission to probe the Earth. Named after the Hawaiian word for "scout" to commemorate its interstellar voyage, the cigar-shaped object has both a highly eccentric orbit and a shiny surface, leading some astronomers to identify it as a comet.

In June 2018, Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency and colleagues showed that the trajectory of the object through the solar system can not be explained exclusively by the gravitational attraction of the Sun, planets and large asteroids. Other scientists took to Twitter:As many have pointed out, there's not enough evidence to show that 'Oumuamua is an alien probe-it's just a theory that hasn't been disproven. This thesis has been discussed by two researchers at the famous american university of Harvard and has quickly ignited the social networks. In order for it to be effective, Oumuamua needs to be less than a millimetre in thickness, like a sail.

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We may never know if they are correct.

"It is exciting to live at a time when we have the scientific technology to search for evidence of alien civilizations", Loeb wrote in an email.

Since its discovery, scientists have been at odds to explain its unusual features and precise origins, with researchers first calling it a comet and then an asteroid before finally deeming it the first of its kind: a new class of "interstellar objects". Bialy and Loeb say, however, that 'Oumuamua need not be flat, but could be a curved sheet, hollow cone or even a sheet that has been folded up like an umbrella. But other astronomy experts aren't buying it. And as the Verge points out, Loeb may be predisposed to be on the lookout for razor-thin alien probes: He's now advising a project called Breakthrough Starshot, a project founded by tech entrepreneur Yuri Milner and his spouse Julia, which hopes to send a space craft similar to the proposed shape of 'Oumuamua to Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our solar system at four light-years away.


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