When you think of a stranger, you probably hear a little gray man in a skintight jumpsuite that is piloting a flying circle, but not amorphous, in the shape of a stone in the shape of a stone that crashed through our solar system.
Scientists studying the mysterious interstellar "Oumuamua" object did not even link it until it was proposed by Avi Loeb, head of the Harvard Department of Astronomy. Although he did not take much of it seriously, given that uncertainty surrounding this visitor from space, Loeb does not back down.
"Oumuamua, the Hawaiian name roughly" the first remote courier ", is an asteroid first discovered on October 19, 2017, and since then were confused researchers. Not only was its move different from what was previously but it showed some strange behavior that made it difficult to sort. Observers first classified it as a comet, but it quickly turned into an asteroid because there was no one, a glowing "envelope" around the comet's body due to sublimation of ice was caused by the sun. The researchers later changed it back to the comet because the object showed strange accelerations that could not be explained only by gravity, indicating that something must come from the comet.
Loeb offers an alternative explanation that would nicely answer all the questions about "Oumuamu, if it was not so amazing." According to Loeb's document, it is a piece of wreckage from a destroyed foreign probe powered by a theoretical solar sail, a propulsion technology based on the idea of exploitation the radiation emitted by the stars. With the sun sail, over time, it would be possible to create enough speed to exit the solar system.
"Oumuamua could be an upset alien probe that has migrated through space on a solar sail or could be an inconceivable comet of low activity. It can not be verified either because" Oumuamua has long gone from our solar system. In fact, because its proposed size and shape were not rated, nobody got a good photo.
Although our interstellar visitor has disappeared, the debate about its classification remains, and a year later it is still strong. Loeb's theory was taken over by the media with storm, widespread coverage, which led to the spread of rumors and sensationalist content.
Apparently, astronomers are not excited about this. As Benjamin Weiner of the University of Arizona on Thursday expressed a tweetLoeb's speculation does not serve the scientific community, and scientists do overtime work to prevent the spread of misinformation. At a time when science is often proclaimed fake news (think of all those who reject global warming), these frustrations are understandable.
Whatever you think about "Oumuamu", her brief visit reminds us that the universe is surprisingly large and that we are just one piece of dust in the cosmic ocean. Who knows? Maybe foreign aliens out there, trigger more probes when we talk.