Humans, with our limited reach, has tried to search for alien life, but with little success. But if alien life do exist, is it possible that they are looking for us too?
A mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested.
Oumuamua, which means “a messenger from afar arriving first” in Hawaiian, looped around the sun on September 9 and made its closest pass by Earth on October 14.
It was first thought to be an asteroid. But when its trajectory and velocity was measured, that was ruled out and then it was thought to be a comet.
In a new paper in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the Harvard professors Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb discuss a range of theories to explain ‘Oumuamua’s strange behaviour.
This year, the mystery of Oumuamua deepened further. After slingshotting around the sun with enough speed to overcome the grasp of its gravity, it did something a bit unexpected: It sped up, propelled by some inexplicable force.
The pair has suggested that, alternatively, ‘Oumuamua could be a light sail — a spacecraft that uses radiation pressure to propel itself, a probe like what Breakthrough Starshot is working to create. These researchers suggest that this interstellar craft could have natural origins or, alternatively, that it could have been sent out from an extraterrestrial civilization.