Harvard Researchers: Space Object Was Alien Spacecraft

Harvard Researchers: Space Object Was Alien Spacecraft

Harvard Researchers: Space Object Was Alien Spacecraft

In a new scientific paper, Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb of Harvard University in the U.S. will say cigar-shaped "Oumuamua" could be a spaceship.

It is ten-times as long as it is wide and travels at speeds of 196,000 miles per hour.

Scientists first discovered the mysterious interstellar object now known as "Oumuamua" in late 2017 when it was spotted by thePan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.

The Harvard paper will be published November 12 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, NBC News reports. But the way the object sped through space leads the team to believe the otherworldly craft was propelled by some sort of "lightsail of artificial origin". Not only is it the first-ever interstellar asteroid or comet detected by astronomers while passing through the solar system, its shape is unusual, its acceleration is unexpected, and a cometary tail - the signature trail of particles seen behind shooting stars - is conspicuous in its absence.

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"I've been saying for years that the only thing that could happen that would make this more insane and I don't think anybody would blink, is if all of a sudden an alien spacecraft appeared above Earth", he added.

Alongside Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, acknowledges that the alien spacecraft theory is an "exotic" one.

"It is going extremely fast and on such a trajectory that we can say with confidence that this object is on its way out of the solar system and not coming back", Mr Farnocchia said shortly after its discovery.

"'Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization", they wrote in the paper, which has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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"In science", he said in an email, "we must ask ourselves, "Where is the evidence?, not "Where is the lack of evidence so that I can fit in any hypothesis that I like?"

"It's the first object to come from interstellar space, it's nothing we have seen before", Loeb said.

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

But Harvard's research team says they're not giving up hope that it's a sign of alien life: they "follow the maxim of Sherlock Holmes: When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth". It's also possible Oumuamua was just created to wander through space, collecting information, and our solar system just happened to be in its way - its operators weren't necessarily looking to pry into the lives of humans.

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