Oumuamua, the first-ever detected interstellar object has been perplexing researchers since its discovery in October 2017. Initially, researchers at Hawaii revealed that Oumuamua is an interstellar asteroid that reached the solar system from the darkness of the universe. However, things took an unexpected turn when Avi Loeb, a top researcher at Harvard suggested that Oumuamua could be actually an alien probe.
Loeb believes that the unexplainable acceleration Oumuamua gained during its course in the solar system is an indication that this mysterious object could be an alien sail. His theory soon received negative criticisms from all corners and several experts claimed that it is a process called outgassing which is causing this unexpected gain in speed.
The new study conducted by Yale University researchers also back this theory and they even try to explain why Oumuamua lacks the tail, a unique characteristic of a comet.
The research report which is now accepted for publication by the Astrophysical Journal Letters revealed that the reason for Oumuamua's acceleration can be explained in a very simple manner--venting of gas that was heated up by the sun called outgassing.
The research conducted by Yale graduate student Darryl Seligman and Gregory Laughlin also suggested the reason behind the absence of a tail and telltale spin that are caused by the gas jet.
"In the model we're proposing for 'Oumuamua, the venting gas does not erupt from a single fixed point on the surface. Instead, the jets migrate along the surface, following the warmth and tracking the direction to the Sun. Instead of spinning up like a typical comet, Oumuamua rocks back and forth like a pendulum," said Laughlin, news.yale.edu report.
Even though several experts have dismissed the extraterrestrial angle of Oumuamua, Loeb does not seems convinced, and he strongly believes that this visitor from deep space could me mostly an alien probe. In a recent interaction with the Washington Post, Loeb told that he will back down if somebody put forwards some pieces of evidence that proves Oumuamua's natural origin.