The interstellar Oumuamua object is a cigar-shaped piece of rock that is now outside the solar system. New research has concluded that this is not an alien spacecraft.
An international team of scientists is confident that everything we know about Oumuamua corresponds to its natural origin, writes Science Alert.
“We have never seen anything like Oumuamua in our solar system. This is still a mystery. But we prefer to stick to our known analogues until we find something unique. The alien spacecraft hypothesis is a fun idea, but our analysis shows that there are a number of natural phenomena that can explain this, ”said astronomer Matthew Knight of the University of Maryland.
Oumuamua, who was spotted in October 2017, a month after he approached the Sun and went back from the Solar System, is actually very strange – even if you ignore the fact that he traveled hundreds of millions of years across the expanses of space.
The only thing that he has in common with other objects of the solar system is a reddish color, which indicates a dense, metal-rich composition baked by cosmic radiation. But at the same time, no comet or asteroid has such a shape.
“Oumuamua rotates like a bottle on its side. And although the object seems to contain no ice and does not emit gases, as the comet does, its trajectory cannot be explained by gravity alone, as an asteroid does. What it says is that it is both a comet and an asteroid, ”added Matthew Knight.
Most likely, the object began as a planet, still in the process of formation in a distant star system, which was thrown into space. This, according to the authors of the work, occurs quite often.
In addition, despite the fact that the observations of Oumuamua did not detect the degassing of the comet, which could explain its trajectory, the absence of detection does not mean the absence of activity – especially since observations were not made at certain wavelengths.
In November 2018, HB reported that after long-term observations of Oumuamua, scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics suggested that it might not be a stone at all, but an “artificial solar sailboat”.
The paper points out that Oumuamua probably has an artificial origin and wanders around interstellar space with the help of advanced technological equipment that uses solar radiation as a driving force.
Experts came to this conclusion because of the strange behavior of the asteroid: according to previous NASA data obtained from the Hubble telescope, the object unexpectedly increased its speed and changed the trajectory passing through the inner solar system.