News   /   Society   /   Sci-Tech   /   Editor's Choice

Harvard paper says mysterious interstellar object is probably ‘alien’ tech

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This handout image of artist's impression released by the European Southern Observatory on November 20, 2017 shows the first interstellar asteroid: Oumuamua. (Photo via AFP)

Harvard researchers have suggested a mysterious interstellar object that was spotted floating in space in 2017 could be an “alien” spacecraft sent on a reconnaissance mission to probe the Earth.

The cigar-shaped asteroid or comet – dubbed Oumuamua – was discovered in October last year by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.

Given its high speed and unusual trajectory, the dark-red object was believed to have come from outside our solar system but its flattened and elongated shape as well as the way it accelerated on its way utterly distinguished it from other conventional asteroids.

Two Harvard researchers, Professors Abraham Loeb and Shmuel Bialy, raised the possibility in a paper that the reddish object, which is 10 times as long as it is wide and traveling at a speed of 196,000 miles per hour, might have an "artificial origin."  

Oumuamua, named after the Hawaiian term which means "a messenger from afar arriving first," is the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere, according to the pair at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

A handout image of an artist's impression released by the European Space Agency on June 27, 2018 shows of the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System, Oumuamua. (Photo by AFP)

“Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that Oumuamua is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment,” they said.

“Alternatively, a more exotic scenario is that Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization,” the two Harvard researchers noted.

Loeb said in an interview with Universe Today that “Oumuamua could be an active piece of alien technology that came to explore our Solar System, the same way we hope to explore Alpha Centauri using Starshot and similar technologies.”

“The alternative is to imagine that Oumuamua was on a reconnaissance mission,” he added.

Before his demise in March, Professor Stephen Hawking said the most likely shape for an interstellar spacecraft would be a "cigar or needle" as this would “minimize friction and damage from interstellar gas and dust.”

Researchers have previously suggested that the object is likely to be the same size and shape as London's Gherkin building.                                                                       

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku