About a year ago, scientists who used the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii noticed that it was a peculiar asteroid passing through our solar system. It went so fast, at about 64,000 kilometers per hour (40,000 miles / hour), that they realized it must be from somewhere else.
They were named the asymmetric Oumuamua, the word Hawaii as a "messenger from afar". They thought it could be a potential host of extraterrestrial life. But the current available telescope technology found nothing to note in the asteroid.
However, there were some strange things about Oumuamua: Normally, scientists will assume that an interstitial object will be a comet. But the comets have gas clouds that surround them, and "Omhammay seemed to have none. Secondly, it seemed to be faster – not by gravitational attraction of other objects, as the researchers would have expected.
The mystery prompted Shmuel Bialy, a post-doctoral associate of Harvard Smithsonian's Center for Astrophysics, and Avi Loeb, another Harvard astronomer, trying to figure out what was going on with Oumuamua. One possibility was that the asteroid was sailing in the sun. "It is already a known phenomenon that when radiation strikes an object, it can cause acceleration," says Bialy. "It's just like the wind blowing a cloth", except for the wind, is the light that advances the object forward.
On November 1st, Bialy and Loeb released a paper printout, which will be published later this month at The Astrophysical Journal Letters, exploring the case of solar radiation. Their conclusion: If Oumuamua is promoted by solar radiation, it should be less than one millimeter thick and hundreds of meters away. This pattern would probably have a hard time withstanding the dust, plasma and extreme temperatures of the interstellar medium. Even if the shape could hold back the transversal erosion, it would still be a form contrary to anything on Earth or anything that could exist under the laws of astrophysics that are now understood.
In other words? Something odd happens with Oumuamua. Bialy and Loeb concluded that it may have come from an "artificial origin," implying that it was made from something different from physical formation. Or, as they write, "a more exotic scenario is that" Oumuamua can be a fully operational catheter sent intentional in neighboring land from an extraterrestrial culture. "
News agencies have since headed to the city with headlines proclaiming scientists at a prominent institution suggesting aliens as a real opportunity. Many stores also reported disagreeable astrophysicists. "I am firmly convinced and I honestly believe the study is rather wrong," Alan Jackson, a colleague at the Center for Planetary Sciences at Toronto Scarborough University, told CNN. Other scientists took on Twitter:
As many have pointed out, there is not enough evidence to suggest that "Oumuamua They are an alien detector – is just a theory that has not been denied. And as Verge points out, Loeb may be willing to look for shorts for shorts: Today he advises a project called Breakthrough Starshot, a project founded by technologist Yuri Milner and his wife Julia, who hopes to send a spacecraft similar to the proposed Oumuamua scheme at Alpha Centauri, the closest star in our solar system at four light years away. The project council included the last Stephen Hawking, along with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Loeb easily admits having a light cloth in the brain. "The fact that I'm involved in a project using the light sailboat allowed me or encouraged me to think about it," he told Verge.
Bialy, meanwhile, has a different perspective. "Most likely, our document is wrong and there is a simpler explanation [for ‘Oumuamua], "he says. But so far no one has given a better explanation of what the interstellar object might be. is not aliens, astrophysicists have to find a better choice.
Finding another answer will be difficult. There is limited data on Oumuamua, as scientists could observe it for about two weeks before they swell beyond our solar system. Perhaps it is impossible to find the simple answer with the information we have.
However, the fact that scientists have been able to locate this interstellar object probably means they could find more in the future, Bialy says. And if scientists are better prepared to observe layered objects, they may be able to get more data to understand them. A good starting point would be to get a true photographic image of Oumuamua? at the moment, scientists are working only with the perceptions of an artist, based on measurements made by distant telescopes.
Until then, scientists can not rule out the idea that "Oumuamua is not a foreign detector. Bialy hopes he will be inspiration enough to try to find out what he really is.