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Is "Oumuamua UFO"? – Novelty knowledge: technology


Have we been visited by a neon solar-powered civilization last year? Or is the name of the "Oumuamu" facility even a fully functional space flyer who deliberately sends aliens to Earth? If such questions are posed in a commercial magazine, many would doubt the seriousness of the authors of the study and the media for publication.

However, in addition to Shmuel Biala, a multi-year researcher at Harvard University, he is also called Abraham Loeb in a relevant publication. "Loeb is one of the most respected theoretical astrophysicists in the world," says Kevin Heng, director of the Center for Space and Habitat at the University of Bern. "He is director of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University and director of the Institute of Theory and Accounts." The study will not be published anywhere in the next week, but in the prestigious magazine "Astrophisical Journal Letters".

Interstellar object

Although Loeb's reputation does not automatically mean what the two researchers claimed in its release, it's true, Heng says. "But that means at least you have to carefully look at what they suggest."

In their publication, Loeb and Biala take care of the remarkable path of "Oumuamua" (Hawaiian for the "messenger from the distant past"). The facility was discovered on October 19, 2017 by the Pan-Starrs-1 telescope in Hawaii. At first it looked like a typical small asteroid moving at a high speed. However, closer observation has undoubtedly revealed that this celestial body does not originate from our solar system, like all the others that were previously noticed, but from the interstellar space, or from the star.

"Oumuamua had more surprises in the store. The Astronomer team in Hawaii discovered that the object's illuminance changed dramatically ten times while rotating around its axis every 7.3 hours. This strong change in illumination means that" Oumuamua is very elongated, so it has a shape of a cigar or maybe a pancake. It is estimated that its length is at least 400 meters, and a race through the Solar System at a speed of about 300,000 kilometers per hour.

«Fully functional space probe»?

Recently, researchers around the Italian astronomer Marc Micheli reported in the Nature magazine that Oumuamu was accelerated in a way that could not be explained by the gravitational effects of the Sun. Acceleration was like a comet that emits gas. But in 'Oumuamua, no evidence was found of the emissions of gases that are common to comets as they approach the sun.

If it is not a cometary activity, then what can "Oumuamu" be increased? Loeb and Biali show that acceleration can be explained if "Oumuamua is an extremely thin object controlled by the Solar Wind. Therefore, Oumuamu is only about 0.3 to 0.9 mm thick.

So, what kind of object would that be? This question begins with a speculative part of the study. According to Heng from the University of Bern, Loeb also leads the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative Advisory Board, which aims to send a spaceship to the nearest star. Because the spaceship should have been equipped with awning and power supply of solar wind. Therefore, it is not surprising that the authors suggest that "Oumuamua can be the giant base that we find ourselves as the cosmic remnants of a distant civilization through our solar system and is stimulated by the solar wind.

Alternatively, the authors suggest an even more exotic scenario. Accordingly, "Oumuamua could be" a fully functional spacecraft that deliberately sends alien civilization around the country, "the publication said.

Maybe a comet

Martin Jutzi of the University of Bern Department of Spatial Planning and Earth Science says the study is "quite interesting". However, this would be very speculative only because of the observed non-gravitational acceleration of the "Oumuamu on the awning or even water probes to close." In my opinion, as always, there are simpler and better explanations. Of course, these are less sensational. »

Whether a spacecraft like the sun could explain the observations is not clarified, says Jutzi. "One possible problem is the orientation of the extremely thin awnings." Other conflicts with interstellar particles of dust that would damage the nuclei. Although this issue is addressed in the article, it does not talk about the potential mechanical damage caused by the collisions.

As Marco Micheli writes in the aforementioned study in Nature, it might be that the potential withdrawal of the Oumuamu was illegal, because it was below the detection threshold. "In my opinion, the observed gravity acceleration can not be explained simply by exhaustion," says Jutzi. "That means it's probably like a comet."

In our time, the quest for artificial objects from other planetary systems is no longer science fiction.Kevin Heng, Director of the Center for Space and Space at the University of Bern

But even this scenario is controversial, continued Jutzi. "It has to be shown in detail that it works." After all, theoretical models indicate that interstellar comets appear with a certain frequency in our solar system. "Probably need no exotic explanation, as presented in Biali and Loeb."

Unfortunately, it's too late to explore Oumuamu in more detail. The building is already too far from Earth to study with telescopes or visit it with a spaceship. So, there are no other choices, researchers write, but to look for other objects of this kind.

"This is one of the important messages in this publication," says Heng. "We live in a time when the quest for artificial objects from other planetary systems is credible and no longer science fiction." Nothing can come from this search. But it is important that you now test such ideas as Biali and Loeb. "It's part of the scientific method."

(Editors Tamedia)

Created: 08.11.2018, 08:52 timer

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