Harvard astrophyscists claim space rock could be an alien probe

New theoretical research by Harvard scientists suggests that the solar system’s first interstellar object might be an alien probe.

Oumuamua was first observed by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii in October 2017. The name means “a messenger that reaches out from the distant past” in Hawaiian.

Research published in the journal Nature last year says it is the first interstellar object to enter our solar system and said it would travel inside it for over a year. Scientists weren’t sure if it was an asteroid or a comet, so they referred to it as an interstellar object.

Oumuamua is 800 meters in length and 80 meters in width, according to Astronomy.com.
Scientists speculated last year that it may consist of materials like metals or rocks.

A yet-to-be-published theoretical study accepted in Astrophysical Journal Letters puts forward a number of theories on the object, including ideas that it may be extraterrestrial in origin. They theorize Oumuamua might be using a light sail to travel.

This technology uses light to propel objects through space. The researchers write that it could be used to transport cargo between planets or stars.

Another theory, the researchers describe as a “more exotic scenario”, is that Oumuamua is a fully working space probe sent to Earth by an alien civilization. However this claim has been disputed by other astronomers.

Astrophysicist Alan Fitzsimmons told the AFP that this wasn’t evidence of alien life.
He explained that Oumuamua has already show characteristics similar to that of a comet from another star system.

When NASA observed it last year, they said the object was traveling at 64,000 kph.
The space agency noted Oumuamua would exit the solar system in January 2019 after passing through Saturn’s orbit. Its next destination is the Pegasus constellation.

1. Telescope observing asteroid
2. Asteroid’s path through solar system
3. Asteroid in space
4. Oumuamua and light sail
5. Light sail technology
6. Transparent cigar-shaped space probe
7. Comet
8. Asteroid over Saturn and Pegasus Constellation

SOURCES: Phys.org, Fortune, NBC News, CNN, Quartz, Astrophysical Journal Letters(Preprint), NASA, Nature, Inhabitat, Astronomy, AFP