When an unknown cigar-shaped object entered the Earth’s solar system and stayed for a few hours, scientists tried to come up with theories to explain the phenomenon. The unidentified object code-named Oumuamua was first seen in 2017. Since then, papers have been published to give the public more info about what we could be dealing with. Although scientists believe that it’s very likely there are numerous interstellar objects that pass through our solar system, this was the first time they were actually able to observe one of them.
Oumuamua had an unusual shape, a shape that was never seen before. The speed at which it breezed through the solar system was also not normal. As a result, a group of scientists from Harvard suggested this could, in fact, be an “alien probe” sent for exploration missions to the Earth’s solar system. NASA, the federal space agency, has also been putting all its best equipment towards shedding more light on this object. A recent paper published by the agency revealed that the Spitzer, one of the most advanced telescopes, has been used for the last two months to study the interstellar object. However, scientists say despite all their efforts, they weren’t able to detect it.
The fact the object couldn’t be detected provides additional insights into what exactly it was. The argument from the scientists is that, since the object couldn’t be detected by an advanced telescope, it may suggest it could have either disintegrated or grown smaller than earlier thought. Understanding the size of the object could give scientists better insights into its origin.
In addition, the scientists said that when it was observed for the first time, Oumuamua was heading away from the Earth’s solar system. As the days go by, it has gotten further and further away from our planet. This could significantly affect the telescope’s ability to detect it. The paper by NASA did appear to suggest the object could be as small as 100 meters in length or as long as 330 meters. At this point, they are not able to tell with complete certainty.
Still, it’s very interesting to note the object appeared to accelerate intensively outside the Earth’s solar system - which was quite unusual. It wasn’t consistent with other observations made regarding similar objects in the solar system. At first, many scientists believed the object was just a normal asteroid. But this soon changed as more data came through. The idea that the object could actually be a space probe sent by alien species is the most outrageous so far. Although this has already been challenged by a number of scientists, it does fuel the speculation there could be another civilization in a solar system far away from ours. After all, the solar system is still a mysterious thing even with the massive explorations that have been done by NASA and other space agencies.