Space Rock Or Alien Artifact?

Astronomers have been arguing for over a year now whether the interstellar object named ‘Oumuamua’ (pronounced oh MOO-uh MOO-uh)  was an asteroid or a comet. The reddish tinged cigar shaped object whizzed through our solar system last year at over 16 miles a second before picking up speed and being flung back out into space by our sun’s gravity. Now the chair of Harvard’s Astronomy Department, Avi Loeb has speculated that the visitor could “light-sail.” In other words, alien technology from an extraterrestrial. More

25 Comments on Space Rock Or Alien Artifact?

  1. Dumbing down of America is reaching the highest levels of acadamia. Too much tee vee. Like I tell my kids – science is “magic” to stupid people.

    The simplest answer is most likely the correct answer. It is a big freaken space rock.




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  2. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but the hard sciences have now fallen, even at Harvard.

    The IAU, at least, has denounced such frivolity.




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  3. It may have been an alien probe looking for a suitable colonization target, and after determining that the Earth’s dominant intelligent life-form is on a societal course highly likely to cause civilization to collapse it may well return with a lot of little green men as cargo. But there will be no astronomers around to watch that event.




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  4. Absolutely.
    Alien technology made to look like an old hunk of rock in case we catch on that they have a space sail that is a rock.
    No ‘the universe is messy because it started with an explosion’ just straight to Aliens.
    Too much time at high altitudes




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  5. We have no imaging, but were given an image of a cigar shaped rock. Hmm.

    A quick scan of the linked paper shows much speculation into the mechanical properties and possible aspect ratio, ~ 5-1, but I missed any mention of the estimated mass. Which could be calculated readily from the orbital parameters observed during the pass around Sol.

    Did I miss that part?




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  6. It came without warning, above the solar ecliptic, hooked a dog leg due to the Sun’s mass bending spacetime and passed within Mercury’s orbit beneath the solar plane.

    Not from the Kuiper belt, not from the Oort Cloud. Interstellar.

    Not a comet, an asteroid. In other words solid with no water.

    Scientists have never seen an asteroid as elongated as 1I/2017 U1 in our solar system—not even half this elongated. The most elongated asteroids we see in our own solar system have axis ratios of no more than 3:1. Scientists will have to come up with new theories explaining how such an elongated object as 1I/2017 U1 could form, and how it could have enough strength to hold itself together in one long piece. It is quite possible that entirely different conditions around this object’s parent star gave this object a composition and shape that are not possible in our own solar system.

    https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/faq/interstellar

    Omuamua unsettles because it reveals we are chemotactic bacteria in our understanding of the Universe.




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