Thread: Star Probe
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 07:01
  #15 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Join Date: Jul 2000
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Could ‘Oumuamua be an alien lightsail?

When the object now known as ‘Oumuamua was first discovered a year ago, it caught astronomers by surprise. It’s an oddly elongated, tumbling object whose orbit indicated it came from outside our solar system. Although interstellar objects – natural objects like comets or asteroids that move between solar systems – had been expected, no object like this one had been seen before. So what was it? Scientists and others immediately began speculating and devising theories. Asteroid? Comet? Shard of a destroyed planet? On November 1, 2018, a new paper was released that raises again the possibility that ‘Oumuamua might be artificial – something like a lightsail or solar sail, a spacecraft whose propulsion method is the radiation pressure or “wind” from stars.

Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb at Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are co-authors on the new paper (preprint here).
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