Scientists are still disconcerting about the last-year interstellar visitor, "Oumuamua," and the latest theory is sure to excite the believers of UFOs. According to a new newspaper published by astronomers at Harvard University, the cigar and mammoth rock that was introduced and left our solar system in October 2017 had some strange properties that suggest it was an alien spacecraft. And while "the only physical properties of Oumuamua have led some scientists to speculate on the aliens, other scientists are not convinced and even worried about the effect of such conjecture.
"Oumuamua may be a totally operational probe intentionally sent to land near the Earth by an alien civilization," wrote authors Abraham Loeb, professor and astronomical professor, and Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral scholar, both at the Center for Astrophysics of Harvard-Smithsonian.
"Oumuamua, who is Hawaiian for" an object from afar ", was first observed by a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii that followed the data flow of the astronomical survey Pan-Starrs from the sky. The investigator noted that the object was very Elongated, like a cane, with a long axis 10 times longer than its short axis. The researchers suggested that its shape would minimize gas abrasions and interstellar dust, thus being an ideal way for an interstellar spacecraft. So in May , an article published in the Monthly Advices magazine of the Royal Astronomical Society suggested that "Oumuamua was turning to our solar system as a result of a gravitational slingshot of a binary star system.
The researchers disembarked in the last conclusion of the other world focusing on one of the most interesting properties of the rock: its unexpected acceleration trajectory after going through the sun, which suggests it was driven by sunlight. Since there were no signs of cometary activity – such as a comet tail or gas emission absorption lines – the possibility that it was a comet was discarded at work by Harvard researchers.
"Oumuamua turns aside from a trajectory that is solely dictated by the gravity of the Sun," said Loeb a Salon in a statement. "This could be the result of the elimination of comets, but there are no cometary tail tests around it. In addition, the comets have changed the period of their turn and no such change has been detected for" Oumuamua. "
After elaborating the hypothesis through a mathematical model, the authors speculate that the non-gravitational acceleration of Oumuamua was due to the pressure of solar radiation.
"The only other explanation that comes to mind is the extra force exerted on" Oumuamua by sunlight ", said Loeb at the Salon." To make it effective, "Oumuamua must be less than a millimeter from thickness, like a candle. This led us to suggest that it could be a light candle produced by an alien civilization. "
Lightweight propulsion systems were created on the Earth and its origins date back to the 70s, when NASA played with the idea of flying a solar sail to Halley's comet. The project was canceled, but the Planetary Nonprofit Society established its own program to build lightweight spacecraft.
However, it is precisely this speculation that is causing a small row among scientists. Some researchers say to Salon the theory that "Oumuamua is an alien navy is defective and falls outside the field of science, as it is unthinkable.
"In science we have to be very careful with our hypotheses," said Paul Sutter, an astrophysicist at the Ohio State University. "My main criticism is that I just introduce foreigners as a hypothesis that you stop making science, because aliens are able to do everything they want."
Sutter said there is no way to prove such a hypothesis.
"We are free to have any ideas we want and crazy ideas are welcome, but they need to be witnesses," said Sutter. "Since then [aliens are] always available you can not derail, so you can not do science with it. "
The uncertainty and strange behavior of "Oumuamua" led investigators to speculate about an extraterrestrial origin, said Sutter, adding that scientists should be more patient or accept that they will never know the foreign rock at this time.
"Our only hope is that" Oumuamua is not the only one out there, and that there are other random roots that fall into our solar system and, hopefully, we can find to observe "the firstborn or aunt of Oumuamua [next], "he said.
Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer of the Extraterrestrial Intelligence Search (SETI), told Salon that the theory could be "an exotic solution for what could be a very mundane situation."
"It could be the solar candle of someone who was wandering through our solar system or the one that deliberately fixed ours, [but] You can not say it's not true because there's no way to prove it's true, "said Shostak to Salon.
Shostak added that it is a foreign spacecraft that was deliberately sent, it is worth noting that it did not come too close to Earth.
"You think it would be an interesting goal for them," he said. "He just entered, it changes around the sun and goes back, it's like someone interesting to move to the neighborhood, walk around the house and not knock at the door or anything, then I do not understand."
Dr. Michael Wall, senior writer of Space.com and author of the upcoming "Out There" book, said while he thinks it's unlikely "Oumuamua is an alien spaceship, the possibility should not be completely ruled out.
"I do not think it's likely, but the aliens almost have to be the last explanation," he said. "You have to exhaust all the natural explanations first, but I do not think it's misestimated."
Since nothing like Oumuamua has been observed in our solar system, natural explanations could still be unknown to human beings.
"It's very likely that we do not have enough information and we'll probably never do it," Wall said. "It's interesting, but it only shows that there's a good line that we need to walk between being too despicable and being too gullible."
At the end of the day, this work was a topic of conversation among many scientists. Loeb told Salon that he did not expect the paper to draw attention.
"I am happy to see the emotion on paper, but it was not written for that purpose," Loeb said. "We have just followed the usual practice of scientific research."
Nicole Karlis is a story in the lounge. It covers health, science, technology and gender policy. Take it @nicolekarlis.
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