Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Strange Asteroid Might Be A Lightsail Of Artificial Origins

In a new study, astronomers from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics say asteroid ‘Oumuamua could be a giant solar sail ‘sent from another civilisation to look for signs of life’.




The study - Could Solar Radiation Pressure Explain Oumuamua’s Peculiar Acceleration - was conducted by Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral researcher at the CfA’s Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) and Professor Abraham Loeb, the director of the ITC, the Frank B. 
Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University, and the head chair of the Breakthrough Starshot Advisory Committee.



Could-Oumuamua-be-an-Extraterrestrial-Solar-Sail-or-Alien-Spaceship.


These astronomers have analysed the strange cigar shape of the object, and an unexpected boost in speed and shift in trajectory as it passed through the inner solar system last year.













There's something strange to this that's for sure.

The researchers say the strange acceleration could the the result of solar radiation pushing a giant artificial solar sail.



Lightsails with similar dimensions have been designed and constructed by humans, including the Japanese - designed IKAROS project and the Starshot Initiative with which he is involved.





Could-Oumuamua-be-an-Extraterrestrial-Solar-Sail-or-Alien-Spaceship-theres-a-good-chance.


A sail that was only a fraction of a millimetre thick (0.3-0.9 mm) would be sufficient for a sheet of solid material to survive the journey through the entire galaxy.


But they propose some alternatives to this theory also:


Alternatively, a more exotic scenario is that Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilisation,’ they added.













If it is then it's very old.

Another option, which explains the lack of communication, a lack of any kind of signal could mean the giant object is actually an ‘alien shipwreck’.

You can read the whole study here.


Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1) is the first object of interstellar origin observed in the Solar System.




Oumuamua-might-actually-be-an-interstellar-spacecraft.


Recently, Micheli et al. (2018) reported that Oumuamua showed deviations from a Keplerian orbit at a high statistical significance.


The observed trajectory is best explained by an excess radial acceleration ∆a ∝ r −2 , where r is the distance of Oumuamua from the Sun.


Such an acceleration is naturally expected for comets, driven by the evaporating material.

Related post:





However, recent observational and theoretical studies imply that Oumuamua is not an active comet.


We explore the possibility that the excess acceleration results from Solar radiation pressure.













This is a great bit of science.

The required mass-to-area ratio is (m/A) ≈ 0.1 g cm−2 . For a thin sheet this requires a thickness of ≈ 0.3−0.9 mm.


We find that although extremely thin, such an object would survive an interstellar travel over Galactic distances of ∼ 5 kpc, withstanding collisions with gas and dust-grains as well as stresses from rotation and tidal forces.


We discuss the possible origins of such an object. Our general results apply to any light probes designed for interstellar travel.


Source Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Source Shmuel Bialy And Abraham Loeb.

Source Institute for Theory and Computation.


1 comment:

  1. These astronomers have analysed the strange cigar shape of the object, and an unexpected boost in speed and shift in direction as it passed through the inner solar system. The researchers say the strange acceleration could the the result of solar radiation pushing a giant artificial solar sail. This is an Alien (Ovni UFO) Spaceship as comets don't change direction and don't speed up all of a sudden.

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