Asteroids are regular visitors to our solar system. But in 2017, an extremely different object appeared and it was something that scientists have never seen before. Neither the shape, nor its movements, and indeed not its height, nothing matched the previously known facts about asteroids. The researchers named this object Oumuamua that means the “first messenger”. The strange object immediately sparked so many speculation and fake theories. Soon the early rumours surfaced that it would be something sent by alien.
First Interstellar Object In History
It was clear, however, that Oumuamua was the first observed interstellar object in history. What fueled the speculation was that it was not possible to take a picture of the visitor. After all, scientists discovered it late, when it was already on its way out of our solar system. Therefore the scientists had a big problem to classify the visitor. They disagreed on whether it was an asteroid, a comet, or something else. After a while, numerous researchers agreed on an asteroid.
Asteroid Or Solar Sail?
But this classification also met with contradiction. The best-known critic to this day is Avi Leob. The physicist once became learned through a joint project with Stephen Hawking. That sent numerous probes into space to better explore it. Loeb was surprised to find that the unusual object resembles his investigations in some ways. Because even the cigar-like shape immediately puzzled science. There are no similar asteroids. Loeb says that this cannot have come about in a natural form. Since there is no photo of Oumuamua, science has to rely on measured values. These indicate a shape that corresponds to that of a solar sail. Loeb thinks that the first messenger must have been around 20 meters long and only half a centimetre wide in his new book. For him, therefore, the definition of an alien probe is most likely.
Similarities To His Project
The strange changes in speed and direction of Oumuamua also support the thesis of Loeb. Therefore, the scientist assumes that the object was either a still functioning probe or parts of an old investigation. The Harvard Professor sees remarkable similarities to his Breakthrough List probes. These are on their way to the Alpha Centauri system to collect information about possible extraterrestrial life. He founded the initiative once with the famous physicist Stephen Hawking.
He does not see his hypothesis as proven but as the most probable. In any case, the discovery of Oumuamua was no accident. The technology has developed massively in recent years. Loeb assumes that science will discover more similar objects in the next few years. Then there may be the opportunity to study them better. Visitors of this type are small and dark. So far you couldn’t make it out, but that has now changed. Now the researchers are waiting for further possibilities to examine interstellar objects. Until then, speculation about the first visitor will continue to flourish. After all, such an unusual thing stimulates the imagination.