Harvard-Smithsonian astronomers: could the mysterious interstellar object be part of an ET probe?


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/06/harvard-smithsonian-astronomer.html


#2

It’s probably headed for a rendezvous with Rama. Had to speed up as it was at risk of being late…

More seriously, if it were a probe I do wonder if there are any parked in our solar system - perhaps hiding in the asteroid belt. If it picked up some transmissions such a probe had stored for relay, then that would explain why it accelerated away…


#3

Well, before the pop culture obsession with “flying saucers” many UFO sightings going back into the 1800’s were of cigar shared objects.

Maybe one day we will know for sure.


#4

Pretty sure they determined it was almost definitely natural in origin a few months ago.


#5

Look, I’m not a scientist, but I read enough Larry Niven novels as a kid to know that ROCKS DON’T CHANGE VELOCITY SUDDENLY.

Isn’t that, in and of itself, reason to believe that it’s under power? Seriously, please enlighten me about how I’m wrong here so I can stop worrying about Kzin or Motie invaders and get back to worrying about the midterms.


#6

The report from the aliens


#7

Mr Loeb might be on to something…

Astronomer%20Loeb


#8

We really need to review the perihelion photos and see if anything sort of “fell off.” If it was a probe, i can’t imagine NOT leaving some kind of observation platform behind.


#9

https://futurism.com/von-neumann-probe

It could happen.


#10

Always a useful article to bring out in times like theses.


#11

The original manuscript is not a paper but a draft. Not peer-reviewed, not even published.
They do not know the shape of it, “cigar-shaped” is just BB’s improvisation.
Also from the “paper”:
“We have shown that the observed non-gravitational acceleration
of ‘Oumuamua, may be explained by Solar radiation
pressure.”
The authors prove with math it’s possible that it’s a thin sheet of rock and can survive interstellar travel and can accelerate if the solar wind hits it right.
Or it can be artificial. Blows my mind why they would say that. Unless it’s a social experiment to see how fast this news spread.


#12

The deceleration burn required to leave something behind would have been impossible to miss.


#13

Don’t worry. They’re from Harvard. Not from MIT or CalTech.

That’s like IEEE publishing a list of the best poetry of 2018.


#14

It is getting to be that time of year boys and girls.


#15

Is there any actual imaging of the object? Something that is not a really cool looking Artists rendition?


#16

So on one hand it’s probably natural.

On the other hand it could be artificial.

But on the gripping hand, the news has come from Hahvahd. And there may be many others but they haven’t been discovahd. :exploding_head:


#17

they just wanted to talk to the whales.


#18

missed my Uber FUCK


#19

They have come here before.

Prior attempts to cart off Jane Seymour for their mating chambers


#20

Or, and as almost always proves to be the case in these situations, the eventual finding is that we didn’t measure its velocity accurately, that its apparent unexplained velocity change ends up being nothing more than bad measurements leading to bad conclusions.