The mystery of Oumuamua, the first interstellar object seen in our solar system, has taken a new and unexpected turn and is from someone who can not wait: NASA.
In a new study published in the Astronomical magazine, the government's space agency reveals that when looking at the interstellar object in November with its Spitzer Space Telescope, it arose with nothing.
"Oumuamua was too weak for Spitzer to detect when it seemed more than two months after the closest purpose of the object [sic] to the Earth at the beginning of September, "NASA said in a statement accompanying the study." However, the "non-detection" puts a new limit on the size that may be the strange object. "
The MYSTERIOUS INTERSTELLAR object MAY BE "LIGHTSAIL & # 39; OF ANOTHER CIVILIZATION
NASA also noted that Oumuamua, the Hawaiian "explorer" or "explorer" name, was exceptionally bright, perhaps up to 10 times more reflective than the comets normally found in our solar system.
"Oumuamua had traveled through interstellar space for millions of years, far from any star that could refresh its surface," NASA added in the statement. "But it may be that its surface is cooled through such" excess "when it made an approach very close to our Sun, a little more than five weeks before it was discovered. In addition to dragging dust and dirt, some of the released gases could cover the surface of "Oumuamua with a reflective shield of ice and snow", a phenomenon that was also observed in the comets of our solar system ».
The summary of the study only adds more intrigue because NASA has never seen when it pointed out its telescope on the object in November.
"Both our size and the limits of surplus are important because" the trajectory of Oumuamua shows non-gravitational accelerations sensitive to size and mass and presumably caused by the emission of gases, "the study summarizes." We suggest that Oumuamua may have Experience post-perihelion low volatile emissions that produced a fresh and bright mantle.
NASA added that it has set limits on what was expected to be carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from the object, but added that another kind of gas – "probably H2O" – caused the "non-gravitational acceleration observed."
Oumuamua was discovered in October 2017 by physicist and Canadian astronomer Robert Weryk.
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Due to the different degrees of brightness that emerge from the surface of Oumuamua, NASA suggests it is "highly elongated and probably less than half a mile (2,600 feet or 800 meters) in its longest dimension."
The intrigue that Oumuamua has or has not been raised considerably over the last few weeks, especially since some researchers theorized that it could be an object of an extraterrestrial civilization.
A study conducted at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics states that the object could be "a lantern of artificial origin" sent from another civilization. "Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that" Oumuamua is a lantern, floating in interstellar space as a scam of an advanced technological team, "wrote Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb in a newspaper.
Weryk called this absurd idea and simply "wild speculation", although he noted that the speed of the object was unusual.
"There is a maximum speed that you can travel to gravitationally recorded by the sun," Weryk told the Canadian CBC channel in an interview. "When I first saw this object, I traveled faster than that, so we know for a fact that is outside of our solar system. We decided that it was a comet that had a bit of excess that was not visible from the ground, which does not seem to be a comet. "
He continued: "(Harvard researchers) decided to focus on another aspect of it, which is an alien spacecraft and has a type of solar candle that is causing the non-gravitational trajectory. But we believe that this is not true based on the data we have obtained ".
In an e-mail to Fox News, Loeb said that his role as Bialy "tries to explain the excess of force" that acted in Oumuamua when it was observed and Weryk's reaction "shows a loss."
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"Our work follows the standard scientific methodology: there is an anomaly in the data, the standard explanation is not explained and thus an alternative interpretation is proposed," Loeb wrote in the email. "It encouraged anyone with a better explanation to write an article about it and publish it. It is possible to rule out any incorrect interpretation when publishing more information in` Oumuamua or other members of its population in the future. A reaction of the type that you cite demonstrates the prejudice . "
NASA has been firm that it is a "metallic or rocky object" and is likely to be a comet.
So, let's learn more about why it was so bright or because it has an unusual acceleration?
INTERSTELLAR VISITOR & # 39; OUMUAMUA & # 39; NEVER WOULD HAVE A LEFT HOUSE, DIDÁNDAS THEORIES
"Normally, if we get a measure of a comet that is weird, we go back to measure it and check it until we understand what we are seeing," said Davide Farnocchia, one of the authors of the NASA study. "But this one disappears forever; we probably know so much about it as we will know it."
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia