A mysterious space object named ‘Oumuamua’ was detected by Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) late last year.
Since then, scientists have been boggled by its true nature. Its hyperbolic trajectory indicates that it didn’t originate from our solar system.
It is an interloper which is unlike any asteroid or comet that has been detected in the past.
Astronomers became eager to find out more about this oddly shaped space rock that tumbled past the sun in high speed. There have been a lot of speculations.
Scientists said that it could be an ancient alien relic. With little data gathered, scientists declared it a comet in June.
This week, two researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, raised the possibility that ‘Oumuamua’ could be an alien spacecraft.
Researchers Shmuel Bialy and Avi Loeb suggested the object “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.”
After a careful mathematical analysis of the way the interstellar object sped up as it shot past the sun, they say ‘Oumuamua’ could be a spacecraft pushed through space by light falling on its surface — or, as they put it in the paper, a “lightsail of artificial origin.”
Many scientists have casted doubts on “alien spacecraft theory”.
From Professor Matthew Kenworthy of the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands:
“It’s not an alien spacecraft. It looks like a piece of rocky or icy material that has come from outside the Solar system, passed around the Sun, and is now heading back out into interstellar space.”
From Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California:
“One should not blindly accept this clever hypothesis when there is also a mundane (and a priori more likely) explanation for Oumuamua — namely that it’s a comet or asteroid from afar.”
Loeb justified their theory as “purely scientific and evidence-based” and supported his contention as follows:
“I follow the maxim of Sherlock Holmes: When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”