The scientific community offers good news for those who believe in aliens. Astronomers, from Harvard University, think that a cigar shaped object, named Oumuamua, may have emerged from an alien civilization. They believe that Oumuamua may be a part of an alien space vehicle. Others have concluded that it could be a lightsail or solar sail spacecraft that runs on sunlight. Another possibility is that it could be a probe that an alien civilization sent to Earth. Even those scientists that are skeptical, about the alien theory, know this space object did not come from our Solar System. This makes Oumuamua, whose Hawaiian name means “first distant messenger,” completely out of this world!
Due to the high velocity at which it travels, scientists know that Oumuamua did not form in our Solar System. It has an orbital eccentricity of 1.20 making it the highest ever discovered. Any space object that has an orbital eccentricity over 1.0 did not evolve in our Solar System. Astronomers think that it will take Oumuamua 20,000 years to leave out Solar System.
Robert Weryk discovered Oumuamua using the Pan-STARRS telescope, at Haleakala Observatory, on October 19, 2017. Ever since then, Weryk has become famous for his incredible find. The interstellar objects name, Oumuamua, was chosen by the Pan-STARRS team in a meeting with Ka’iu Kimura and Larry Kimura of the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
Even though scientists still do not know where this space object came from, they have several theories explaining why it came rolling into our Solar System. One hypothesis is that it could be a piece from a severely damaged planet. Another hypothesis is that it moved into our Solar System after an impact or eruption ejected it from its system of origin. As astronomers continue to study this interstellar object, they will have even more postulations.
Since Oumuamua is mysterious, scientists thought that it was a comet at first. Later on, it became the first comet ever to be re-categorized as an asteroid. Even though some astronomers still believe it is an asteroid, studies, conducted in October 2018, prove that it is neither an asteroid nor a comet.
Scientists know that many interstellar objects, like Oumuamua, move through our Solar System every year. According to scientific studies, there are 10,000 passing inside the orbit of Neptune on any designated day. Since Oumuamua was the first interstellar object ever found, it has made scientific history. Scientists may find many other space objects in the future.
Since Oumuamua is such an unusual space rock, Breakthrough Listen is using a radio telescope to scan tit for extraterrestrial signs. They have not found any signs yet, but scientists have not given up hope. They plan to conduct three more radio observations, and the data may unravel the first signs of extraterrestrial life.