What is This Thang?
In late 2017, scientists observed a mysterious object tumbling past the sun. The Science world shifted their focus to figuring out what this strange object is ever since it’s first sighting.
Oumuamua’s unusual trajectory, speed, size, and weird reddish color helps scientists be certain of the fact that this thing, whatever it is, is not from earth! They confidently say that it came from outside of our solar system.
A Creepy Idea
Some people jumped to the conclusion that this stadium-sized object merely is an asteroid. However, specific characteristics set it apart from any asteroid scientists have ever seen before. The strange characteristics include it’s flat and elongated shape as well as it’s unusual acceleration through the solar system.
Two Harvard researchers have their speculations about this foreign object. They drew the conclusion that everyone thought about but was too scared to say out loud; the researchers think it’s an alien spacecraft. Their paper on the topic will be published on November 12th in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
They clearly state the possibility that Oumuamua “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.” In simple terms; aliens sent a giant spacecraft to Earth for g-d knows what reason.
According to the researchers, the evidence is all in the way that Oumuamua moves. When things in space naturally find their way near the sun, they do not speed up as they pass it. Their mathematical analysis of Omuamua suggests that light was intentionally put on the object and in consequence, pushed it past the sun. The scientists call this an “artificial lightsail.”
In Earth terms, the lightsail can be compared to an engine in an airplane that pushes it up and into the air whereas, without an engine, the aircraft would obey passive laws of gravity and sit still on the runway. The Harvard scientists cannot say that aliens intended to move the Oumuamua near us, but they feel confident enough to say that light was intentionally used to power the alleged spacecraft in one way or another.
Chairman of Harvard astronomy department and co-author of this paper, Avi Loeb, says that if Oumuamua is a lightsail, it’s possible that our solar system just happened to bump into it.
People on earth have launched light sails of their own, so it’s possible that other civilizations are experimenting as well. Loeb’s collaborator admits that it would be quite rare or “exotic” for Oumuamua to be an alien spacecraft, but he will not exclude the possibility that it could be one.
Seth Shostak is a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Shostak said that it would be “ingenious” to prove that Oumuamua is an alien spacecraft. However, he warns that people should not just accept that Oumuamua is an alien civilization’s lightsail when it could simply be an asteroid.
An astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, Coryn Bailer-Jones is not fond of the theory. He wrote that “In science, we must ask ourselves, ‘Where is the evidence?,’ not ‘Where is the lack of evidence so that I can fit in any hypothesis that I like?’” Bailer even identified four dwarf stars that are very similar to Oumuamua. “One can always come up with increasingly implausible suggestions that have no evidence to maintain an idea,” Bailer claims.
Sherlock Holmes Style:
Loeb says that all of his and his collaborator’s work is based on scientific evidence. He emphasized the fact that he takes the Sherlock Holmes approach when it comes to space mysteries.
Loeb, like the fictional investigator, believes that when you remove all that can’t possibly be true, the remaining possibilities have to be true, even if they are not likely. “I follow the maxim of Sherlock Holmes: When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth,” Loeb explains.
Anyways Oumuamua is Gone:
The debate about what that massive thing is still going on. Meanwhile, Oumuamua left our solar systems and is so far that no telescope can catch sight of it. So if we non-scientists wanted to sum all the data up, we’d say that aliens may or may not be trying to take over the earth. But interpret it however you like.