An odd cigar-shaped object found tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien prob sent to take a closer look at Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested.
Since its discovery, scientists and astronomers have been trying to decide what exactly this stranger in the neighborhood is. First called a comet and later an asteroid, this unique visitor has bow been deemed a first of its kind: a new class of “interstellar objects.”
“‘Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization,” they wrote in the paper, which has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The theory is based on the object’s “excess acceleration,” or its unexpected boost in speed as it traveled through and ultimately out of our solar system in January 2018.
Researchers say that Oumuamua is the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere.
“Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that ‘Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment,” wrote the paper’s authors, suggesting that the object could be propelled by solar radiation.
The story is developing. A more detailed look at CNN.Com
- Don Stuck