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The idea that “Oumuamua is a spacecraft was supposed to inspire astrophysics – quartz

About a year ago, researchers using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii noted what appeared to be a strange asteroid passing…

About a year ago, researchers using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii noted what appeared to be a strange asteroid passing through our solar system. There was speed ahead so fast, at about 64,000 kilometers per hour (40,000 mph), that they realized that it had to be from elsewhere.

They called the asteroid Oumuamua, the Hawaiian word for “messengers from remote arriving first.” They thought it could be a potential host to alien life. But the current telescope technology was in no way found on the asteroid.

Still there were some strange things about “Oumuamua: Normally, researchers would assume that an interstellar object would be a comet. But comets have clouds of gas surrounding them, and” Oumuamua did not seem to have anyone. Secondly, it appeared to be faster &#821

1; and not by gravity pressure of other objects that scientists would expect.

Mystique asked Shmuel Bialy, a doctoral student at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Avi Loeb, another Harvard astronomer, to try to figure out what happens to “Oumuamua.” A possibility was that the asteroid was swaying on sunlight. ” is already a known phenomenon that when radiation hits an object it can cause acceleration, says Bialy. “It’s just like the wind strikes a sail”, except for wind, it’s easy to drive the object forward.

On November 1, Bialy and Loeb released a reprint of a paper to be published The Astrophysical Journal Letters later this month, exploring the solar radiation hypothesis. Their conclusion: If “Oumuamua is powered by solar radiation, it must be less than one millimeter thick and hundreds of meters long. It would probably be difficult to withstand dust, plasma and extreme temperatures in the interstellar media. And although the shape could last Against interstellar weather, it would still be a form unlike anything on earth or something that may exist under the current understanding of astrophysics.

In other words, something strange goes on with “Oumuamua. Bialy and Loeb found that it came from an “artificial origin”, which meant that it was done by something other than natural design. Or, as they write, “a more exotic scenario is that” Oumuamua can be a fully operative probe as intentionally “sent to the earth near an alien civilization. “

News has since gone to the city with headlines proclaiming researchers at a prominent institution proposing foreigners as a real opportunity. Many sales outlets also cited dissenting astrophysics.” I’m clearly convinced and honestly think that the study is quite flawed, “said Alan Jackson , colleague at the Center for Planetary Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough, CNN. Other scientists went on Twitter:

As many have pointed out, there is not enough evidence that “Oumuamua is an alien probe. It’s just a theory that has not been contradicted. And as Verge points out, Loeb may be prone to looking out for razor-sharp alien probes. He is currently consulting a project called Breakthrough Starshot, a project founded by technical entrepreneur Yuri Milner and his husband Julia, who hopes to send a spacecraft similar to the proposed form of “Oumuamua to Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our solar system on four light years away. The project board later included Stephen Hawking, along with Facebook Mark Zuckerberg. Loeb admits that he has bright sails in the brain. “Being involved in a project that uses the easy sail made it possible for me or encouraged me to think on it, “he told Verge.

Bialy, however, has a different perspective.” Probably our paper is wrong and there is a simpler explanation [for ‘Oumuamua] “, he said. But so far no one has provided a better explanation of what the interstellar object could be. If it is not aliens, astrophysics must get better alternative.

Finding another answer will be challenging. There are limited data about “Oumuamua”, as researchers could only observe it for about two weeks before it zipped beyond our solar system. It can be impossible to find the simple answer with the information we have.

But the fact that researchers were able to detect this interstellar object in all likelihood means they could find more in the future, Bialy argues. And if researchers are better prepared to observe interstellar objects, maybe they can get more data on them to figure out what they really are. A good starting point would be to get a real photographic image of & # 39; Oumuamua; Right now, researchers work with an artist’s perceptions alone, based on the measurements of remote telescopes.

Thereafter, researchers can not rule out the idea that “Oumuamua is not a strange probe. Bialy hopes that it will be inspirational enough to try to find out what it really is.

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