It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s possibly an alien probe flying through space! Yes, that’s right, two researchers from Harvard recently suggested in a paper that an oddly shaped interstellar object that was passing through our solar system this year could have been an alien probe.
The object, named Oumuamua, has been puzzling scientists and researchers since the unidentified object was seen tumbling past the sun back in 2017. With it’s high-speed and highly unusual trajectory, the cigar-shaped object was questioned by many on its origin. The object is flattened and has an elongated shape, setting it apart from conventional comets and asteroids. According to their theory and math, the object traveled at about 196,000 mph.
Two researchers, Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb are currently working on a paper trying to explain how and why the object accelerated like it did. The Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shared the draft and it is always causing quite the stir.
The paper suggests that the object “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.” And while the paper is not fully committing to a claim that aliens sent Oumuamua, they are suggesting that the object was a spacecraft, one with a solar sail, however, they do not know who sent it into interstellar space.
Scientists on earth have launched lightsails of their own into space, however, one of the programs, which Loeb is an advisor for, shares that the technology for lightsails is still rather new.
Many researchers in the community are not on board with Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb’s claims. “I am distinctly unconvinced and honestly think the study is rather flawed,” Alan Jackson of the Centre for Planetary Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough shares. “Carl Sagan once said, ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’ and this paper is distinctly lacking in evidence nevermind extraordinary evidence.”