CBS NEWS – A pair of Harvard researchers say that a massive fast moving visitor to our solar system could…
CBS NEWS – A pair of Harvard researchers say that a massive fast moving visitor to our solar system could have been a probe sent by an alien civilization. Most astronomers think Oumuamua ̵
1; Hawaiian for “messenger” or “scout” – is a comet or an asteroid, besides half a mile. But there are things about their behavior that they can not fully explain. Enter two Harvard researchers with an idea even if they acknowledge is a little out there, reports CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil.
When Oumuamua was discovered last October, the sun grew at 196,000 mph. For some, the reddish object looked like a cigar. Others thought it was shaped like a pancake.
“It looks very different than items we found in the solar system,” says Avi Loeb, chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University. Loeb said that Oumuamua did not behave like a regular asteroid or emits gas like a comet.
“There seemed to be an extra force driving it, and it is not clear what this pressure is from,” he added.  In an upcoming paper, he and colleague offers what they call a “more exotic scenario … Oumuamua can be a fully operational probe intentionally sent to the earth’s proximity to an alien civilization.”
According to their estimates, Oumuamua is less than a millimeter thin, but very wide like a sail, utilizing solar radiation to propel – resembles the spacecraft used by Count Dooku in the Star Wars films.
“I just want everyone to take it with a giant grain of salt,” said Jackie Faherty, an astrophysician at the American Museum of Natural History. She said that Oumuamua did not let any signals indicate that it was a spacecraft.
“If you say that the top 10 list of explanations does not contain foreigners, what’s on the list of the 10 best explanations?” Dokoupil asked.
“It’s a comet, or an asteroid, or a rock,” says Faherty.
“So where is foreign civilization on the list of explanations?”
Faherty doubts Oumuamuas appearance means we are on the verge of an extraterrestrial meeting like the one in the movie, “Arrival.”
“As it stands, Oumuamua is a phenomenal discovery and a very important subject for astronomers to study and to the public to be happy about,” said Faherty. “It’s okay that it’s not foreigners.”
Oumuamua is now so far away that we can no longer see it with our satellites. Faherty had a theory of why we continue to come up with these exotic explanations: Obviously, it is even more difficult to understand the idea that we are alone as difficult as fathom the existence of foreigners.