Things are serious and I am serious‒at least this time.
And with this article I’ll take you back to 2017 to a tremendous scientific event that occurred then.
Do you know what I am referring to? Does the word “Oumuamua” ring any bells?
Let’s think the facts from the beginning.
Three years ago. October 2017. The telescope Pan-STARRS 1 in Hawaii detected something inside our solar system, that—at first—was considered a comet. The scientists started studying and observing this comet thoroughly.
Then it happened.
While the Near-Earth Object Observations’ scientists (NEOO) were observing the intruder, they noticed that it had no cometary activity at all. Weird uh? On the contrary, it was accelerating slightly, a sign that its behavior was like an asteroid’s.
So what was this amazing thing after all?
Neither a comet nor an asteroid, apparently.
This visitor was the first interstellar object ever spotted in our solar system!
This interstellar visitor had a rocky cigar-shaped and was up to 400 meters long. According to Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington and Karen Meech of the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii, this was the first, direct proof that interstellar objects truly exist.
“Oumuamua” also varied in brightness, which means that it was highly elongated: about ten times as long as it was wide, with a complex, convoluted shape. Furthermore, “it had a reddish color, similar to objects in the outer solar system, and confirmed that it is completely inert, without the faintest hint of dust around it.”
The observations suggest this unusual object had been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before it had the chance to encounter with our star system.
Further calculations and researches estimate an interstellar object similar to “Oumuamua” passes through the inner solar system about once per year, but they are faint and hard to spot and couldn’t be seen until the time “Oumuamua” was finally spotted!
Only survey telescopes, such as Pan-STARRS1, are powerful enough so that we have at least one chance to discover them.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s sell all our properties and go buy one!
By the way, “Oumuamua” in Hawaiian means “a messenger from afar arriving first.” And if you ask me, this couldn’t be more suitable!
What exactly was it and where did it come from?
Still unknown—unfortunately. But what we definitely know is that this object wasn’t made by humans and didn’t come from Earth. “It’s a strange visitor from a faraway star system, shaped like nothing we’ve ever seen in our own solar system neighborhood,” said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
Will we see a similar one? Quite possible!
Are there aliens after all? Well…wait, WHAT?
Some even braver folks believe that this object might be an tracking-surveillance machine sent to our solar system from another. Despite us wanting this to be true, we should not confuse the true facts with the speculations. After all, at least, we can still read, watch and imagine all these alien situations in sci-fi novels, movies, series!
I’ll be honest with you. I believe there are aliens out there, but until we have proof for that, all we can do is imagine. Or speculate.
And let’s not forget what almost happened to Ripley and what the aliens did to the rest of her multiple crews!
All things considered, “Oumuamua” was an incredible observation and I really hope—you too I guess?—that there will be a lot of other surprises, researches and discoveries for humanity…before it becomes extinct, and robots, along with aliens, rule the whole world-solar system-universe-Milky Way…
Are you ready to join me? Grab your telescope and—man—wait for it!
Written by G.P. Eliot