The space object Oumuamua (Hawaiian for "scout" or "messenger") got a lot of overheated attention this week after a widely respected powered by solar radiation pressure.
In fact, the new paper by Abraham Loeb and doctoral researcher Shmuel Bialy, who are still working through peer review and publishing, seem to have received more attention than the original 2017 discovery of the first passing through our solar system from beyond.
Previously, research groups proposedand then used the radio telescope to scan it for some signs of artificial signals. These observations all came back negative. We will probably never be able to investigate Loeb and Bialy's hypothesis altogether, but as Oumuamua has traveled from the earth at very high speeds for over a year now.
Astrophysician and cosmologist Katie Mack (no relation) suspects it is difficult to disprove "it can be foreigners" theory can be a part of the calculation behind the publication of the paper.
"If you come up with something in the category" not * of course * wrong and even HUGE IF TRUE "the chance of publishing there will be a fire support and the low probability of high reward fee may be tempting enough to make it worth standing the eyes of your colleagues, "Mack tweeted about the paper and the huge response it was received.
In other words, at any time something mysterious happens which is difficult or impossible to perform follow-up studies, you simply can not rule out aliens as a probable explanation. Furthermore, at any time, foreigners can be a credible explanation for something, someone will surely enter and fill that vacuum. This time a big-business astrophysicist and cosmologists in Harvard filled the void, which led to the internet threatening.
There is no real hard evidence Oumuamua is a strange spacecraft – Loeb just happened to notice that it is similar to how we can expect a so-called "light sail" craft like thatis working on flying. (Loeb also happens as Chair Breakthrough Starshot Advisory Committee.)
Loeb and Bialy's paper is just one of literally dozens of Oumuamua out there. It's not first to suggest that the item can be artificial and it's not even the strangest source of origin for the large interstellar cylinder or cigar or what you think it looks like. Here is a brief summary of the other theories for where Oumuamua came from.
The invisible universe became visible?
One of the earlier and far-reaching explanations suggested Oumuamua could actually be a big hunger of "macroscopic dark matter". Dark matter is the invisible material that is thought to be part of the universe.
"Contrary to generally perceived misconceptions, dark matter need not be in the form of weakly interacting elemental particles, but can be found in much larger parts," read the very short paper by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Canada's Perimeter Institute and Stanford.
The researchers say that if their hypothesis was true, the passage of Oumuamuas could have changed the pathways of Mercury, Earth and Moon. No one has yet confirmed any changes in these planets.
Crumbs from another solar system
One of the most popular explanations for Oumuamuas origin in literature is the thought that it is left from the planet formation process around another distant star. Basically, just an interstellar asteroid from the whole cosmos.
It is believed that the early days of a solar system can be particularly turbulent and chaotic with pieces of junk everywhere and some may even be eliminated from the system altogether.
A new study used new data to tryThe vagabond object may have been relocated from.
Another theory suggests that Oumuamua may not come from planetary scrap, but from the remains of a planet's destruction.
"I conclude that the origins of Oumuamua as a fragment of a planet that was disturbed early and then ejected by a dense member of a binary system could explain its features," writes SETIA Institute Matija Cuk in an article in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The idea here is that a run-in with a dense red dwarf star may have torn a planet apart, throwing at least one cigar-shaped piece in our direction.
One came out of coma
Another early explanation was that Oumuamua was a kind of weird comedy from another side of the galaxy, shaped like no comet we have ever seen and lacking an obvious tail. However, it accelerated on its way out of the solar system as a comet, as there is an increase from heated ice and water aboard its pass of the sun.
Various researchers have suggested that it was a dead comet, a comet that was fragmented in a manner similar to the abovementioned Planetary Declaration or just a comet-like matter.
Not that extraterrestrial
There have also been some suggestions that Oumuamua might not even have been aliens. Some of the latest surveys investigate whether it can actually come from the edges of our own solar system. A paper went so far to suggest that its odd behavior and pathways could be explained by being "spread" by an "unknown" planet in our solar system.
Yes, it's a reference to what is sometimes called Planet 9 or Planet X, another often confused and conflated concept that tends to drive the internet wild.
A follow-up paper by the noted astronomer Jason Wright from Penn State throws cold water on the idea that an invisible planet may have thrown Oumuamua with us.
As long as it stays on its current path, the mystery of humanity's first interstellar flight will remain. Well, unless "Oumuamua suddenly makes a U-turn.
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