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Harvard researchers suggest interstellar objects may have been from foreign civilization

The strange interstellar object that invaded our solar system and passed close to the ground in the fall of 2017…

The strange interstellar object that invaded our solar system and passed close to the ground in the fall of 2017 could have been an artificial object, a piece of spacecraft from an alien civilization, suggests Harvard researchers in a new paper. [19659002] “There are data on the orbit for this item, for which there is no explanation. So we wrote this document that proposes this explanation,” said Professor Avi Loeb, chair of the Harvard Astronomical Department. “The approach I take to the subject is purely scientific and evidence-based.”

“As far as I know, there is no other explanation,” he said. “You can exclude it or inside, based on additional data.”

He said the study had been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters on November 1

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Written by Loeb and Postdoctoral Researcher Shmuel Bialy, suggests that the item may be a light sail or sunseal – a proposed method of operating spacecraft using sails to capture the radiation pressure and drive spacecraft, just like a regular sail uses the wind to drive a boat .

The object “Oumuamua – Hawaiian for” Messenger From First Arrivals First “- is the first ever observed intrusive in our circular planets. It was collected by telescope in October 2017 at the University of Hawaii Haleakalā Observatory, said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Scientists say that other “interstellar” objects may have sailed from earlier, undiscovered.

The object raised eyebrows. It was monitored for signs of radio signals as weak as one tenth of a cell phone power signal , but nothing was detected. Researchers said in December 2017 that it appeared to be a naturally formed, oily object covered with a dry crust.

Loeb said that the object is “odd” for various reasons. One reason is that it has deviated from a orbit dictated by the gravity of the sun. It had “excess acceleration,” he said. Comets may have such acceleration because the ice on them is vaporized when heated by the sun and drives them. But “Oumuamua had no tail like a comet.”

“The issue arises as to what causes excess acceleration, the excess of the surplus and the potential we propose is the radiation from the sun that drives it” said.

How the object moves, says Loeb, conforms to a light sail a fraction of a millimeter in thickness that is tens of meters above.

If “radiation pressure” touches the object, “Oumuamua” represents a new class of thin interstellar material, either produced naturally or artificially, “says the paper.

If it is artificial,” one possibility is that “Oumuamua is a light signal floating in interstellar space as a rubbish from an advanced technical equipment, “says the paper.

“Alternatively, a more exotic scenario is that” Oumuamua can be a fully functioning probe that is deliberately sent to the earth’s proximity to a foreign civilization, “the paper suggests.

Loeb said he had received some strong reactions with the strongest that comes from people who have not read the paper, which he said “illustrates how much prejudice it is about this subject. “

” I do not see this differently than a topic that is right in the ordinary that everyone is working with. It’s exactly the same approach, he said.

He said that when the object is blown out of the solar system, it is not possible to study it anymore, but researchers on earth should pay attention to the next.

“If we see another, we can look carefully,” he said.

He noted that no photo has ever been taken on “Oumuamua.” We have no picture because we were not prepared. … The importance of finding this object is that we can now make plans for the future and see more. “

Globe correspondent Ben Thompson contributed to this report.

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