Did an alien space probe pass near Earth past year?

An artist's depiction of Oumuamua the first detected interstellar object

An artist's depiction of Oumuamua the first detected interstellar object

". Alternatively, a more exotic scenario is that 'Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization".

The paper said if solar radiation pressure is the reason "Oumuamua" is moving at high speeds, it represents "a new class of thin interstellar material" either made naturally or through artificial means.

"Light sail of the same size were designed and built our own civilization, including the IKAROS project and Starshot". The excess acceleration of Oumuamua was detected at multiple times, ruling out an impulsive kick due to a break up of the object.

It withstood collisions with gas and dust-grains, as well as stresses from the rotation and tidal forces of space, according to researchers.

The strangly shaped object is about half a mile long and is so unusual that Nasa said it had "never seen a natural object with such extreme proportions in the solar system before".

"A survey for lightsails as technosignatures [scientific evidence of past or present technology] in the solar system is warranted, irrespective of whether Oumuamua is one of them", the paper said. "The lightsail technology might be abundantly used for transportation of cargos between planets or between stars". As they say in a paper to be published November 12 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the object "may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization".

Another study suggested other objects similar to Oumuamua will eventually enter our solar system, with some of them carrying the building blocks of life.

At least 11 people injured in California bar shooting
Dean said the other prior encounters were a traffic accident and an incident in which Long was the victim of a battery at a bar. Nineteen-year-old Tayler Whitler says she was dancing and her friends were at a table by the door as the gunman opened fire.

The object's flat, elongated shape and reddish colour is from outside our solar system, according to the researchers.

"For decades we've theorized that such interstellar objects are out there, and now―for the first time―we have direct evidence they exist", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in a 2017 news release. "Namely that it's a comet or asteroid from afar".

"Any functional spacecraft would nearly certainly retract its solar sail once in interstellar space to prevent damage", Jackson said.

So far, there is no obvious origin for 'Oumuamua.

They add in the paper that the object could be a "lightsail of artifical origin".

The latest theory shedding more light on the nature of Oumuamua comes from a study carried out by two astronomers from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "You have to understand that for scientists, the craziest idea is always publishable, as long as there is a tiny chance that it is not wrong", she wrote on Twitter.

Latest News