A mysterious object spotted tumbling through our solar system previous year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate earth.
The Harvard researchers say that Oumuamua could be a solar light sail, created to be carried along by the solar wind. And even if the shape could hold up against interstellar weathering, it would still be a form unlike anything that exists on Earth, or anything that could exist under the currently-understood laws of astrophysics.
Their theory of the "exotic" by their own admission, is based on the speed of Oumuamua, more important than expected for a auto of this shape. Other scientists took to Twitter:As many have pointed out, there's not enough evidence to show that 'Oumuamua is an alien probe-it's just a theory that hasn't been disproven.
In June 2018, Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency and colleagues showed that the trajectory of the object through the solar system can not be explained exclusively by the gravitational attraction of the Sun, planets and large asteroids.
"This would account for the various anomalies of 'Oumuamua, such as the unusual geometry inferred from its light-curve, its low thermal emission, suggesting high reflectivity, and its deviation from a Keplerian orbit without any sign of a cometary tail or spin-up torques". In order for it to be effective, Oumuamua needs to be less than a millimetre in thickness, like a sail. There's limited data on 'Oumuamua, since scientists could only observe it for about two weeks before it zipped beyond our solar system. "It's just like wind hitting a sail", except instead of wind, it's light propelling the object forward.On Nov. 1, Bialy and Loeb released a pre-print of a paper, to be published The Astrophysical Journal Letters later this month, exploring the solar-radiation hypothesis. However, the lack of infrared thermal emissions from the 'Oumuamua suggest that it is much more reflective than previously thought - and therefore could be much smaller than previous estimates, they argue. They also say the object could be shaped like a sheet, which the astronomers claim would be consistent with the observed tumbling motion of the object. "It is impossible to guess the goal of Oumuamua without more data".
The mysterious object, Oumuamua, can be an alien spacecraft. Their suggestion of an alien force at work went viral.
A preprint of the paper is available on arXiv.