Astronomers think that the Solar system called for a probe of aliens

Cristina Cross
November 9, 2018

Its unusual origin story wasn't the only thing that set Oumuamua apart from other comets and asteroids - it was also odd in shape; highly elongated, like a cosmic cigar.

"The likelihood of Galactic panspermia is strongly dependent upon the survival lifetime of the putative organisms as well as the velocity of the transporter", Manasvi Lingam and Loeb from this current study said in another paper published previously in the Astrophysical Journal.

Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb, two astronomers from the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, suggested the cigar-shaped object - given the Hawaiian name 'Oumuamua, which NASA notes "means a messenger from afar arriving first" - could have been a discarded light sail of extra-terrestrial origin, perhaps sent here on goal.

"Omwamwi" can be fully operational probe specifically directed to Earth, an extraterrestrial civilization", - noted in the work.

Another study suggested other objects similar to Oumuamua will eventually enter our solar system, with some of them carrying the building blocks of life.

It was moving at 59,030mph when it was first tracked by scientists.

"Its origin could be either natural (in the interstellar medium or proto-planetary disks) or artificial (as a probe sent for a reconnaissance mission into the inner region of the solar system)".

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"It is impossible to guess the goal behind Oumuamua without more data", Loeb was quoted as saying. There are probably "thousands of interstellar 'Oumuamua-like" objects "trapped" somewhere in the solar system, they wrote.

"Like most scientists, I would love there to be convincing evidence of alien life, but this isn't it", said Alan Fitzsimmons, an astrophysicist at Queens University, Belfast. SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, tried to detect signals from the object, but found nothing.

On its face, the study is trying to reconcile 'Oumuamua's pattern of acceleration, which matches that of a comet, to other observations that suggest it's not an active comet.

Now a pair of Harvard researchers are raising the possibility that Oumuamua is an alien spacecraft.

The technology, NBC news says, is still in its infancy on Earth, however.

"If radiation pressure is the accelerating force, then Oumuamua represents a new class of thin interstellar material, either produced naturally, through a yet unknown process... or of an artificial origin", the authors wrote. In order for it to be effective, Oumuamua needs to be less than a millimeter in thickness, like a sail.

Instead, it had dived between Mercury and the sun and was zooming past Earth on its way out of our solar system, a path that meant Oumuamua was an interstellar traveler from beyond the solar system.

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