There are two types of people in this world: people who believe in aliens, and the ignorant. Sorry if that offends, but it’s true: if you deny the existence of extraterrestrial life, you’re almost denying your own existence, as humans are literally aliens themselves.
Anyway, beliefs aside, science always has something to say about the matter, and the latest update could be awful or excellent, depending on your perspective.
A paper to be published by a pair of Harvard University researchers has suggested that Oumuamua, a foreign object that was first discovered as it was passing the sun back in 2017, could possibly be an alien spacecraft.
Now, to be clear, while the scientists aren’t saying what they’re seeing is definitely alien, they are saying that it “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.” Which is … definitely something.
via NBC News:
Scientists have been puzzling over Oumuamua ever since the mysterious space object was observed tumbling past the sun in late 2017. Given its high speed and its unusual trajectory, the reddish, stadium-sized whatever-it-is had clearly come from outside our solar system. But its flattened, elongated shape and the way it accelerated on its way through the solar system set it apart from conventional asteroids and comets.
Now a pair of Harvard researchers are raising the possibility that Oumuamua is an alien spacecraft. As they say in a paper to be published Nov. 12 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the object “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.”
The researchers aren’t claiming outright that aliens sent Oumuamua. But after a careful mathematical analysis of the way the interstellar object sped up as it shot past the sun, they say Oumuamua could be a spacecraft pushed through space by light falling on its surface — or, as they put it in the paper, a “lightsail of artificial origin.”
As for why Oumuamua may have been sent, Avi Loeb — the chairman of Harvard’s astronomy department and a co-author of the paper — said “it is impossible to guess the purpose behind Oumuamua without more data.”
Whether or not Oumuamua is actually alien is yet to be seen, but I have a feeling we’ll get out the answer — good or bad — sooner rather than later.