Say the name "Oumuamua" and you get all sorts of theories about what the mysterious interstellar object is – a light sail sent from an intelligent alien civilization. A comet. And asteroid. The list goes on and on.
But while the object discovered in October 2017 and now heading towards Saturn's orbit, has given much discussion about what it is, there is one thing it cannot be, according to a new study.
One of a kind.
The study, written by John Forbes and Abraham Loeb from the Harvard University astronomical department, suggests that there may be a large number of objects similar to Oumuamua floating around the Milky Way Galaxy and humanity had just not searched for them.
INTERSTELLER VISITS & # 39; OUMUAMUA & # 39; NEVER BE LEFT HOME, THEORIES SEGER
"We are investigating what can be learned at close meetings between extrasolar minor bodies such as" Oumuamua and the Sun, "wrote Forbes and Loeb in the abstract of the study." These meetings can provide strong limitations on the mass composition and possible origin of "Oumuamua-like objects. We find that such objects collide with the Sun once every 30 years, while about 2 pass in Mercury circuits every year." [1
Another astronomer, Greg Laughlin from Yale University, also believes that there may actually be trillions of items similar to Ouamuamua in the Milky Way, according to Space.com. 19659003] Oumuamua, the Hawaiian name for "pathfinder" or "scout", was discovered in October 2017 by the PanSTARRS1 telescope after discovering a new bright spot that came from a strange direction at an exceptionally fast speed.
In addition to the above paper with Forbes, Loeb is also co-author of another paper that theorized that Oumuamua could be an "artificial origin light" sent from another civilization. "In view of an artificial origin, Oumuamua is a light signal floating in interstellar space as a garbage from a sophisticated technological device," wrote researcher Shmuel Bialy and Loeb in the paper. ] MYSTERY INTERSTELLER OBJECT CONUNDRUM INTENSIFYING AS NASA REVEALS, YOU ARE NOT ORIGINALLY SEE IT
This theory was heavily criticized by Canadian physicist and astronomer Robert Weryk, the physicist and astronomer who discovered it.
said he believes it is "a remnant in another solar system", added in an interview with the Canadian news agency CBC that "It's just something that happened to us and we were very lucky to have used the telescope that night and looked in that direction. " NASA, for its part, has said that it is a" metallic or rocky object "about 400 meters long and 40 meters wide, but the public space said in November that it was not originally the object, and perhaps added some credibility to Forbes and Loeb's theory.
In the intense debate, Forbes and Loeb admit that we may never know what Oumuamua is. 19659003] "As the debate continues between asteroid and comet interpretations, it is unclear whether concrete conclusions can be reached as" Oumuamua himself has quickly faded from view of his way out of the solar system, "the authors wrote in their paper.
Ouamua is scheduled to enter Neptune's circulation in 2022 and in about 20,000 years it will come out of the solar system for good
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