Interstellar Object Oumuamua Might Be A Probe Sent By Aliens, Says Harvard Study
November 12th, 2018 / 10:31 AM
Image Credits: European Southern Observatory
A new study conducted by Harvard Scientists about first interstellar immigrant “Oumuamua” states that it might be an alien spaceship that has been sent to investigate earth and is not a comet as was previously believed to be.
What is Oumuamua?
On October 19, 2017, Robert Weryk first saw the interstellar object which was detected passing through the solar system.
Oumuamua in Hawaiian means “a messenger from afar arriving first.” In the studies, scientists focused on the extra force applied by sunlight on Oumuamua. Its thickness should not be more than a millimetre, like a sail for it to be effective, as reported by The Indian Express.
A new study conducted by Harvard scientists has suggested that the cigar-shaped object which is from another star system namely Oumuamua may be an alien probe sent to analyse earth. As previously thought by the scientists that it is not a comet.
Scientists and researcher from the Harvard-Smithsonian centre for Astrophysics say, “Oumuamua might be a complete operational probe sent intentionally near earth by an alien civilisation to investigate earth.”
While the official scientific designation of Oumuamua is 1I/2017 U1, the cigar-like shaped interstellar object is believed to be at least 400m (1300 feet) long and rocky. Reportedly, as indicated by researchers the interstellar asteroid got its colour after being hit by high energy cosmic rays. It has been drifting to interstellar space for millions of years.
What does the study say?
The study noted that red, dark elongated object, which is ten times as long as it is wide and travels at a speed of 315,364 km per hour, might be artificial, as reported by Xinhua news agency.
Abraham Loeb, from the varsity, said, The new object showed very unusual features since its discovery. This unusual feature makes this new object weird, which belongs to a class of objects that we have never seen before.”
However, the sharp acceleration of the object was also deviating. “The excess acceleration of Oumuamua was detected several times, ruling out an impulsive kick due to a breakup of the object,” Loeb said.
Why is Oumuamua not considered a comet?
Loeb said “Oumuamua deviated from a trajectory that is solely dictated by the sun’s gravity. This might have been the result of cometary outgassing, but there is no evidence for a cometary tail around it.
An earlier study conducted by the research team of European Space Agency, which was investigating a few situations to clarify the quicker than anticipated speed of this distinctive interstellar visitor, couldn’t recognise any visual evidence of outgassing either.
When comets are warmed by the Sun, they usually eject gas and dust which form a cloud of particles around it, called a coma along with the tail, which is a characteristic feature.
Karen Meech of the University of Hawaii said, “We did not see any dust, coma, or tail, which is unusual we think that Oumuamua may usually slit large, coarse dust grains,” reported PTI.
The previous team hypothesised that maybe the small dust grains adorning the surface of most comets dissolved amid Oumuamua’s journey through interstellar space, with just larger grains remaining, reported India Today.
Written by : Ajay Biradar (Student, IIJNM)
Edited by : Sromona Bhattacharyya