Avi Loeb, the chairman of Harvard's astronomy department, stirred up excitement and shook the feathers of his colleagues with the suggestion that an alien ship might be passing through Jupiter.
As the Washington Post reports, Loeb, a prominent astronomer in his field, introduced the idea that the first known interstellar object, discovered in 2017 and nicknamed "Oumuamua" (Hawaiian for "Boy Scout"), may be the technology of another civilization.
What you can not call Loeb is a crank. When astronomers in Hawaii came upon the first known interstellar object in late 2017 – a flash of light moving so fast it could only have come from another star – Loeb had three decades of chairmanship in the Ivy League and hundreds of astronomical publications. curriculum mainly to do with the nature of black holes and early galaxies and other subjects away from any tabloid shelf. […]
"Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that & # 39; Oumuamua & # 39; – pronounced Oh-mooah-mooah – "is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as a remnant of advanced technological equipment," Loeb wrote with his colleague Shmuel Bialy in the Astrophysical Journal. Letters in November – exciting ET enthusiasts and disrupt the fragile orbits of the space academy.
The Post article spends some time with the animated Loeb and the range of reactions to the lightsail theory. If you love the idea of aliens, like me, when someone credible in your field suggests that aliens can be close (ish) on the hands, it's exciting.
And I'm the only one who thought of the episode of DS9 "Explorers" with the old Bajoran legend that Ben Sisko decided to test Jake by building a beacon? Hopefully there are no Cardassian solar ships that are fantastic.
Wikipedia has this to tell us about'Oumuua:
Oumuua is falling, instead of turning smoothly, and is moving so fast relative to the Sun that there is no chance of originating in the Solar System. This also means that'Oumuua can not be captured in a solar orbit, so eventually it will leave the Solar System and return to travel through interstellar space. The system of doumuua origin and the amount of time spent traveling between the stars are unknown.
I love it? Do I feel tears in my eyes on an interstellar object? I right now:
(via The Washington Post, image: "Artist's Impression of Oumuamua")
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- Wow. Wow. Wow:
"The idea of justice has been promoted in our schools for a long time." pic.twitter.com/GowAZWYWpZ
– Steve Morris (@stevemorris__) February 5, 2019
What did you see there today, lightsailors?
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