Oumuamua mystery continues: Interstellar object could be just a millimeter thick


A few days ago, a team of Harvard scientists had suggested that interstellar object Oumuamua could be actually an alien space probe. To substantiate their theory, researchers at Harvard put forward two points; the unusual boost in speed and the weird cigar shape. Now, Seth Shostak, a research fellow at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute has revealed more mind-blowing details about the interstellar visitor.

In a recent talk with CNBC, Shostak claimed that Oumuamua could be just a millimeter thick, about as thick as 5-10 sheets of paper stacked together. Earlier, scientists had speculated that Oumuamua could be 400 feet long and 40 feet wide, but they were absolutely clueless about the thickness of the object. Now, the revelation from Shostak has shocked the entire scientific community, as this is for the first time that they are encountering an object that is as big as Oumuamua which appears so thick at the same time.

After hearing Shostak's view on the thickness of Oumuamua, conspiracy theorists have started claiming that this interstellar object might be artificially created by an intelligent life form living in deep space.

However, Seth Shostak revealed that there will be n number of objects like Oumuamua outside the solar system. He argues that Oumuamua has not caught our attention just because it entered the solar system.

"This implies a number of these things are drifting through the cosmos, as ubiquitous as fire hydrants. Unless a miracle has occurred, these are entering our solar system all the time. This is just the first one we've found," said Shostak.

Shostak also made it clear that Oumuamua could be most likely a weird rock, and he ruled out the possibility of this object being an alien ship.

"If they really wanted to target our solar system, they'd hang around longer and probably come closer to the earth," clarified Shostak.

Matija Cuk, a research scientist at the SETI believes that Oumuamua could be actually a light sail. As per Cuk, a light sail is basically an object that is thin enough to be pushed by the sun or another star, and it will usually fly like a plastic bag floating in the wind.

Cuk also argues that the composition of objects outside the solar system will be very different, and he believes that it could be of natural origin. The SETI scientist suggests that people are connecting Oumuamua with aliens because they have not seen such an interstellar object never before.

Earlier, Don Lincoln, a senior scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory had revealed that the unexpected acceleration attained by Oumuamua could be the result of a phenomenon called outgassing.

This article was first published on November 18, 2018