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Could 'Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail?

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Could 'Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail?

Post by Dragon on Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:43 pm

On October 19th, 2017, the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System-1 (Pan-STARRS-1) in Hawaii announced the first-ever detection of an interstellar asteroid, named 1I/2017 U1 (aka, "Oumuamua). In the months that followed, multiple follow-up observations were conducted that allowed astronomers to get a better idea of its size and shape, while also revealing that it had the characteristics of both a comet and an asteroid.

Interestingly enough, there has also been some speculation that based on its shape, 'Oumuamua might actually be an interstellar spacecraft (Breakthrough Listen even monitored it for signs of radio signals!). A new study by a pair of astronomers from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has taken it a step further, suggesting that 'Oumuamua may actually be a light sail of extra-terrestrial origin.

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Re: Could 'Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail?

Post by Dragon on Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:45 pm


Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Artist’s impression of the first interstellar asteroid/comet, “Oumuamua”. This unique object was discovered on 19 October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.

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Re: Could 'Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail?

Post by Dragon on Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:45 pm



Astronomers have found that ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System, is moving away from the Sun faster than expected.

Using data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope, and from NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope, a team of researchers concluded that ‘Oumuamua is most likely outgassing — suggesting that this enigmatic interstellar nomad is a peculiar comet rather than an asteroid.

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Re: Could 'Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail?

Post by Cloud on Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:57 am

Seems more likely it is a comet but wouldn't that be amazing ? I suppose there's a first time for everything. Still very exciting finding cheers cheers In saying that though, there have been so so so many reports of cigar shaped UFO's. That was the first thing that came to mind when I read about this last year.

Thanks for sharing Dragon I love you I love you

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Re: Could 'Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail?

Post by Dragon on Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:52 am

NASA Learns More About Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua

In November 2017, scientists pointed NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope toward the object known as 'Oumuamua — the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system. The infrared Spitzer was one of many telescopes pointed at 'Oumuamua in the weeks after its discovery that October.

'Oumuamua was too faint for Spitzer to detect when it looked more than two months after the object's closest aproach to Earth in early September. However, the "non-detection" puts a new limit on how large the strange object can be. The results are reported in a new study published today in the Astronomical Journal and coauthored by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The new size limit is consistent with the findings of a research paper published earlier this year, which suggested that outgassing was responsible for the slight changes in 'Oumuamua's speed and direction as it was tracked last year: The authors of that paper conclude the expelled gas acted like a small thruster gently pushing the object. That determination was dependent on 'Oumuamua being relatively smaller than typical solar system comets. (The conclusion that 'Oumuamua experienced outgassing suggested that it was composed of frozen gases, similar to a comet.)

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Last edited by Dragon on Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Could 'Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail?

Post by Dragon on Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:54 am


Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists have concluded that vents on the surface of 'Oumuamua must have emitted jets of gases, giving the object a slight boost in speed, which researchers detected by measuring the position of the object as it passed by Earth in 2017.

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Re: Could 'Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail?

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