Is Oumuamua an alien spaceship or not? Possible but unlikely, says expert


A few days ago, Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb, two astronomers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics had suggested that Oumuamua, the interstellar object that visited our solar system could be actually an alien sail from another advanced civilization to look for signs of life. The claims made by these researchers soon went viral on online space, and conspiracy theorists blatantly concluded that alien life is a reality.

But now, Don Lincoln, a senior scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has revealed that the possibility of Oumuamua being an alien spaceship is possible but very unlikely.

"In a recent scientific paper, two Harvard researchers make a very daring speculation. They suggest it's possible that an alien artefact, built by extraterrestrial intelligence, has flown through our solar system. This speculation, while of potentially enormous import, is almost certainly wrong. However, the idea is sufficiently interesting that it is worth understanding what is being proposed. Well, I suppose the extraterrestrial origin is possible but very unlikely," said Don Lincoln in a column written for CNN.

In the study report submitted last week, Harvard researchers argued that the strange cigar-shaped Oumuamua attained an unexpected boost along with a shift in trajectory as it passed through the inner solar system. As per the Harvard researchers, this unexpected boost in velocity could be the indication that it is made with advanced technology.

However, Don Lincoln made it clear that a phenomenon called outgassing might have resulted in this unexpected acceleration.

"There is a very pedestrian explanation for this non-gravitational behaviour: The object is "outgassing," which means various forms of ice are melting and puffing off into space. Basically, it's the same principle as a rocket ship. Near the sun, there would be lots of melting and lots of puffing. Further, from the sun, the melting would slow and that would result in less unexplained acceleration," added Lincoln.

In the meantime, a section of conspiracy theorists have joined the party, and they have started claiming that Oumuamua could be an alien scout ship. As per these conspiracy theorists, aliens used to send scout ships to the earth to monitor the conditions here before they gear up for an invasion.

This article was first published on November 8, 2018