Thursday , January 28 2021

Is Oumuamua a probe sent by foreigners? Probably not

When you think about a foreigner, you probably form a little gray man in a skintight jumpsuit that pilot a flying plate, not an amorphous, cigar-shaped rock rock that hurts through our solar system.

Scientists studying the mysterious interstellar object "Oumuamua" did not make that connection either until Avi Loeb, chairman of the Harvard astronomical department, suggested it. Although not many took him seriously, given the amount of uncertainty surrounding this visitor from outer space, Loeb does not support it.

"Oumuamua, a Hawaiian name that roughly means" first distant messenger "is an asteroid that was first discovered on October 19, 2017, and it has been astonishing researcher since then. Not only was its path unlike what had previously occurred, but it showed something strange behavior that made it difficult to classify. Observers first classified it as a comet, but it quickly changed to an asteroid because there was no coma, the glowing envelope surrounding the body of the comet due to the sublimation of ice caused by the sun. Researchers later changed it back to a comet because the object showed strange accelerations that could not be explained by gravity alone, indicating that something had to come out of the comet.

Loeb offers an alternative explanation that would answer all questions about "Oumuamua, if not so incredible." According to Loeb's paper, the object is a piece of junk from a ruined alien probe driven by a theoretical solar seal, a propulsion technology based on the idea of ​​utilizing The radiation from the stars. Over time, a sun seal can generate enough speed to leave a solar system.

"Oumuamua can be a busted alien probe that glides through space on a sun rack, or it may be an inexplicable low-activity booth. There's no way to verify in any way, because" Oumuamua has long left our solar system. In fact, because the proposed size and shape were of appreciation, no one could even get a good photo.

Although our interstellar visitors are gone, the debate remains on their classification, and a year later it is still strong. Loeb's theory has taken the media by storm, the widespread coverage leads to the spread of rumors and sensational content.

Predictably, astronomers are not happy about this. As Benjamin Weiner of the University of Arizona expressed in a tweet this last Wednesday, Loeb's speculation provides proper service to the scientific community, with researchers now working overtime to stop the spread of false information. At a time when science is often required as false news (think of all the global warming denials) these frustrations are understandable.

Whatever you may like "Oumuamua, the short visit reminds us all about the universe's amazing size and that we are just a single vacuum in a cosmic ocean. Who knows? Maybe there are aliens outside there and launch more probes when we talk .

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