'Alien' Oumuamua likely to be of natural origin, says scientists
A new paper suggests that Oumuamua is likely of natural origin and doesn't need aliens for it to exist.
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND — According to the Guardian, Oumuamua is a reddish interstellar object that was first seen using the Pan-STARRS telescope at Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii in October 2017, as it passed by Earth at 156,428 kilometers per hour.
Its unique shape and unusual level of acceleration have made it an object of mass speculation among the astronomy community.
Oumuamua, whose name comes from a Hawaiian word meaning 'scout' or 'messenger sent from the distant past to reach out to us', is 400 meters long and roughly 40 meters wide.
Scientists are still debating whether or not the object has extraterrestrial creations, but current research suggests that it has natural origins.
According to the Independent, Matthew Knight, an associate research scientist at the University of Maryland Department of Astronomy, has considered the possibility that the object was thrown out of a giant gas plant that was orbiting another star.
Sean Raymond, the co-author of 'The Natural History of Oumuamua', a new paper published to Nature Astronomy, said in his blog that even a cigar shape could have a natural explanation. Oumuamua could be a fragment of a much larger object shredded before it was ousted, a process that elongated it.
Raymond explained in his blog how the orbit of Oumuamua isn't even special.
'The odds of running into a Japanese person in Paris are pretty low. They are in a small minority. But they are no longer a small minority if you are at the airport, by the gate for a flight to Tokyo. It all depends on the context. In the right context, Oumuamua's orbit is nothing special. No need for aliens.'
However, according to Raymond, there is no universally accepted answer as to what the mysterious object is and despite there being theories, he says, none of them are 'mic-drop compelling'.
The scientists who suggested that the object could be an alien spacecraft also argued that the dearth of similar natural objects in space suggests that Oumuamua should never have been found, and may, therefore, have been intentionally aimed at Earth.
Here's to hoping these scientists are wrong, and an intelligent civilization did indeed just take a sneaky-peek at life on earth.
NEXT ON TOMONEWS
Hong Kong protests turn violent on anniversary of 1997 handover