The mysterious interstellar object known as Oumuamua has a lot of uncertainty around it in the scientific community. The latest theory has suggested a new possible origin. This origin refers to Oumuamua being part of a reconnaissance mission that was started by an alien civilization looking to explore other galaxies.
This latest theory comes from a recently published study by a couple of astronomers from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Data from the Pan-STARRS-1 survey in September of 2017 revealed that Oumuamua gained speed. This was surprising, as scientists predicted the mysterious rock would be slowing down. Researchers at the time claimed this increased speed was due to the outgassing, which is the release of gas trapped or frozen in the interior of the rock.
This explanation was faulty, according to astronomers Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb. Bialy and Loeb argued that outgassing could not be correct because Oumuamua would have gone into a spin if this was the case. With no spin observed, Bialy and Loeb explain the increased speed of Oumuamua away from the sun as the result of the force the sunlight exerts on its surface. Loeb explained that this will make the object lighter in weight for its surface area and allows the object to act like a light sail.
Loeb and Bialy explain the origin could be natural or artificial. It would be natural in the interstellar medium or proto-planetary disks. It would be artificial if it was to act as a probe sent for a reconnaissance mission into the inner region of the solar system.
So, it is possible that Oumuamua is actually from an alien civilization. Bialy and Loeb explain that the reason for considering the reconnaissance mission possibility is the assumption that Oumuamua following a random orbit requires the production of a certain number of objects per star in our galaxy. Loeb explains this number represents a higher abundance than expected, unless Oumuamua is a targeted probe and not part of a random population of objects.
This new theory requires much more study, which will be difficult since Oumuamua is no longer in our solar system and too far away at the present time for more observation.
Our personal opinion is that Oumuamua is from our own Galaxy
Here is why:
If it was from another Galaxy, it would most likely not have survived the extreme journey, especially as it’s shape is so bizarrely elongated and therefore more fragile and susceptible to gravitational forces acting on it, than say a more spherical shape.
It’s amazing it actually made it through our own Galaxy intact too…which makes this latest theory (one which was offered by our own members here as a possibility), just that little more likely to be the correct one IMO.
A plain asteroid, that length and shape travelling for millions of years through interstellar space would most likely have been pulverised and not kept that shape for very long…making it likely it’s not a plain asteroid.
Prof. Hawking had earlier said that he too thought it stood a good chance of being part of an artificially constructed technology.
IMO, the thing looks VERY similar to the so-called Apollo 20 mission (that never was) that supposedly imaged a similar looking shaped object resting half in and half out of a Lunar crater, although the real image was taken by Apollo 15, not 20.
Curiously, it is also the same shape as two more incidents of intrigue…the supposed ‘Ringmaker’ cigar shaped, miles long cylindrical ships situated nestled among the rings of Saturn, and an image taken by ‘New Horizon’ Pluto probe, showing what appears to be three, long, cylindrical objects in Pluto’s orbit.
Incidentally, the long, elongated cylinder shape, is thought by NASA and independent scientists, like Prof. Hawking, to be the optimal shape to build for minimising damage from interstellar dust, gas and debris hitting it.
Which might, just might turn out to be opinions shared with other species out there who may be sending ships and probes to our part of space.