Say the name "Oumuamua" and you'll get all sorts of theories about what the mysterious interstellar object is – a light sail sent from an intelligent extraterrestrial civilization. Comet. An asteroid.
But while the object, which was discovered in October 2017 and is now making its way to Saturn's orbit, has sparked much discussion about what it is, there is one thing it may not be, according to
The study, written by John Forbes and Abraham Loeb of the Astronomy Department at Harvard University, suggests that there may be a great number of objects similar to Oumuamua floating around the world.
INTERSTELLAR VISITOR 'OUMUAMUA' NEVER SHOULD HAVE LEFT HOME, THEORIES SAY
"We explore what can be learned by close encounters between extrasolar minor bodies like 'Oumuamua and the Sun,' wrote Forbes and Loeb in the study's abstract. "These encounters may yield strong constraints on the bulk composition and possible origin of 'Oumuamua-like objects." [1
Another astronomer, Greg Laughlin from Yale University, also believes that there may be trillions of objects similar to Ouamuamua in the Milky Way, according to Space.com. 19659003] Oumuamua, which is the Hawaiian name for "pathfinder" or "scout," was discovered in October 2017 by the PanSTARRS1 telescope after it spotted a new spot of light coming from a strange direction at an unusually fast speed. In addition to the above-mentioned paper with Forbes, Loeb is also the co-author of another paper that theorized that Oumuamua could be a "lightsail of artificial origin" sent from another civilization. "Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that 'Oumuamua is a lightsail, floating in the interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment,' 'researcher Shmuel Bialy and Loeb wrote in the paper.
MYSTERIOUS INTERSTELLAR OBJECT CONUNDRUM
This theory was heavily criticized by the Canadian physicist and astronomer Robert Weryk, the physicist and astronomer who discovered it.
Weryk said he believed it to be "a remnant from another solar system, "adding in an interview with the Canadian news outlet CBC that" It's just something that happened to run into us, and we were very lucky to have been operating the telescope that night and looking in that direction. " For its part, NASA has said that it is a "metallic or rocky object" of approximately 400 meters (1,312 feet) in length and 40 meters (131 feet) wide. (19659003) In the midst of the intense debate, Forbes and Loeb effectively concede that we may never really know what Oumuamua is.
19659003] "As the debate continues between asteroids and cometary interpretations, it remains unclear if any firm conclusions can be reached as' Oumuamua itself
Ouamua is scheduled to enter Neptune's orbit in 2022 and in about 20,000 years will make its out of the solar system for good .
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