Harvard Researchers: Mysterious cigar-shaped object is probably alien tech

Eloise Marshall
November 9, 2018

The scientists speculate that, "considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment".

It was moving at 59,030mph when it was first tracked by scientists, and its unusual trajectory and high speed sets it aside from other space objects such as asteroids and comets. The excessive acceleration could be explained by the pressure of solar radiation, or "solar sail".

Oumuamua, a cigar-shaped object spotted in 2017 during its crossing of the solar system, could possibly, under conditions... have been sent by extraterrestrials, according to two Harvard researchers in a sharply criticized scientific article.

"It is impossible to guess the objective behind Oumuamua without more data", Avi Loeb, chairman of Harvard's astronomy department and a co-author of the paper, told NBC News MACH in an email.

In June 2018, Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency and colleagues showed that the trajectory of the object through the solar system can not be explained exclusively by the gravitational attraction of the Sun, planets and large asteroids. "Indeed, they write that "'Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization", with the caveat that this is an "exotic scenario".

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We may never know if they are correct. Some people point out that the speed of displacement of Oumuamua is compatible with that of a "comet " expelled" from his system, others criticise the method of calculation, recalling that the thesis of the space probe was discarded after the discovery of the meteor. In order for it to be effective, Oumuamua needs to be less than a millimetre in thickness, like a sail.

Moreover, astronomers reported that the Oumuamua was the first object to be observed from the outside of the solar system.

Now in a paper accepted for publication next week in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Bialy and Loeb suggest that 'Oumuamua could be a piece of technology created by an alien civilization.

"Like most scientists, I would love there to be convincing evidence of alien life, but this isn't it", said Dr Alan Fitzsimmons of Queens University Belfast. Bialy and Loeb say, however, that 'Oumuamua need not be flat, but could be a curved sheet, hollow cone or even a sheet that has been folded up like an umbrella.

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