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Interstellar object 'Oumuamua' could be an alien probe, claims Harvard study

09 November 2018

Harvard scientists have raised the possibility that "Oumuamua", a mysterious cigar-shaped interstellar object, the first of its kind found in our solar system, could have come from an alien civilization.

Whether Oumuamua is a light sail from a spacecraft of artificial origin floating aimlessly through solar systems or an operational probe sent intentionally to Earth, the researchers said its likely origin will only be determined by searching for other objects like it in the future.

Oumuamua was dubbed an "interstellar object" when scientists decided it was neither an asteroid or a comet; while comets can speed up in a process known as "outgassing", the shape lacked the cloud of dust that surrounds a melting comet.

In late October, 2017, NASA said the recently discovered interstellar visitor appeared "to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy".

The object was said to be 10 times longer than it is wide and it traveled at speeds of almost 200,000 miles per hour.

The article, written by Abraham Loeb, Professor and chair of astronomy, and Shmuel Bali, scientist, doctoral student at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for astrophysics, indicate that comparable "light sail" already exist on Earth.

"It is impossible to guess the objective behind Oumuamua without more data", Loeb was quoted as saying. "Lightsails with similar dimensions have been designed and constructed by our own civilization, including the IKAROS project and the Starshot Initiative". NBC News reports that denizens of this planet have launched their own lightsail probes, mostly to investigate other star systems, now unreachable by humans.

An alien civilisation sent a spaceship to investigate Earth and we mistook it for an asteroid, astronomers from one of the world's top universities have suggested.

An artist's depiction of Oumuamua, an interstellar object that astronomers believe is a comet, not an asteroid.

"So we wrote this paper suggesting this explanation", Loeb told the Boston Globe. Even the spinning motion of a damaged solar sail would be far more strongly influenced by the radiation forces than seen, he explained. "But until every other possibility has been exhausted a dozen times over, even the authors probably don't believe it". However, he adds that, if Oumuamua is indeed a lightsail, it may have run into our solar system "like a ship bumping into a buoy on the surface of the ocean".

They also discussed the likelihood that people on the left will find a way to blame President Donald Trump for yet another alien invasion during his administration. "It is impossible to guess the objective of Oumuamua without more data".

Interstellar object 'Oumuamua' could be an alien probe, claims Harvard study