Interstellar Object Oumuamua May Be ‘Alien Probe’ (Download PDF)

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Interstellar object ‘Oumuamua could be “light-sail” created by alien civilization. Unexplained trajectory of object as it travelled thru solar system could be result of it being accelerated by sunlight.

Image of Interstellar Object

Image of Interstellar Object

Image of Interstellar Object

  • Unclear whether ‘Oumuamua might be defunct technological debris of equipment that is not operational any more or whether it is functional.

  • Object could be light-sail, which would have used radiation pressure of starlight – or perhaps even light from giant laser – to reach solar system.

  • Japan’s IKAROS mission, which launched in 2010, has already used light-sail to accelerate spacecraft using sunlight.

  • 1st spotted in October 2017 by Hawaii-based Pan-STARRS survey telescope, ‘Oumuamua appears to be highly elongated, 230 m-long object that originated from outside solar system.

  • Named after Hawaiian word for “scout” to commemorate its interstellar voyage, cigar-shaped object has both highly eccentric orbit & shiny surface, leading some astronomers to identify it as comet.

  • Lack of coma of gas & dust around ‘Oumuamua suggested to others that it is asteroid.

Rotational Stability

  • In June 2018, Marco Micheli of European Space Agency & colleagues showed that trajectory of object thru solar system cannot be explained solely by gravitational attraction of Sun, planets & large asteroids.

  • Oumuamua could be piece of technology created by alien civilization.

  • Oumuamua may be fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by alien civilization.

  • Oumuamua’s trajectory can be explained by acceleration caused by sunlight reflecting from object. Oumuamua must be less than 1 mm thick & be just few metres across – which is much smaller & thinner than previously thought.

Highly Reflective

  • Resolved images of ‘Oumuamua are not available & that estimates of its size & shape are based on amount of light reflected by object as it tumbles thru solar system.

  • Oumuamua could be just few tens of metres long. Object could be shaped like sheet.

  • Oumuamua could be curved sheet, hollow cone or even sheet that is folded up like umbrella.

Random Origin

  • Oumuamua is asteroid from another star that arrived here by random chance, then each star in Milky Way would have to have abt 1015 similar objects associated w/it.

  • Oumuamua could be alien spacecraft.

  • Researchers from SETI Institute scanned object for radio emissions when it passed near Earth in 2017.

  • Astronomers should be scanning sky for other interstellar objects, including possible light-sails.

- Published/Last Modified on: January 23, 2019

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