Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
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Harvard Argues That Interstellar Object Was Alien Probe Investigating Earth

Harvard Argues That Interstellar Object Was Alien Probe Investigating Earth

He also lamented that mankind now lacks the technology necessary to chase Oumuamua for a closer study, as the rock's point of origin makes it very fascinating for researchers. In order for it to be effective, Oumuamua needs to be less than a millimetre in thickness, like a sail.

The papers authors, which include Avi Loeb, chair of Harvard Universitys astronomy department, suggest the object could be a “lightsail” used to propel spacecraft with solar energy. As previously thought by the scientists that it is not a comet.

Bialy and Loeb suggest 'Oumuamua "may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.".

The cigar shaped "interstellar object" sighted tumbling close to the Earth a year ago might really be a reconnaissance probe means to spy on us, claim two Harvard researchers in a recently published study.

What does the study say?

It's 10 times as long as it is wide and is tumbling along at speeds of 315,000 km/h. "These features make Oumuamua weird, belonging to a class of objects that we had never seen before", said Abraham Loeb, from the varsity.

However, the sharp acceleration of the object was also deviating.


"The excess acceleration of Oumuamua was detected at multiple times, ruling out an impulsive kick due to a break up of the object", he said.

Why is Oumuamua not considered a comet?

"Most intriguingly it's moving on a trajectory that implies an extra push in addition to the gravitational force from the sun".

That could be the result of "outgassing": frozen gases melting in the solar heat, and acting like rocket fuel.

An earlier study conducted by the research team of European Space Agency, which was investigating a few situations to clarify the quicker than anticipated speed of this distinctive interstellar visitor, couldn't recognise any visual evidence of outgassing either.

"Like most scientists, I would love there to be convincing evidence of alien life, but this isn't it", said an astrophysicist at Queens University in Belfast Alan Fitzsimmons.

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