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November 07, 2018

'Oumuamua, a Large Cigar-Shaped Object In Space (You Know, Like You've Seen Ten Times in Star Trek), Maybe Be an Alien Probe, Theorize Harvard Researchers

Alert the obese Alien Finder Tom Nichols.

A mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested.

The object, nicknamed 'Oumuamua, meaning "a messenger that reaches out from the distant past" in Hawaiian, was discovered in October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.

Since its discovery, scientists have been at odds to explain its unusual features and precise origins, with researchers first calling it a comet and then an asteroid before finally deeming it the first of its kind: a new class of "interstellar objects."

A new paper by researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics raises the possibility that the elongated dark-red object, which is 10 times as long as it is wide and traveling at speeds of 196,000 mph, might have an "artificial origin."

"'Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization," they wrote in the paper, which has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The astronomers are puzzled by its "excess acceleration" -- acceleration they say can't be explained by more mundane factors, like the pressure of gas being released from the object due to the Sun's heat -- and posit that maybe it has deployed a "light sail," which is a real (though little-used) method of passive propulsion by which one simply unfolds a very large and light sail and lets the outward pressure of the Sun's photons push a ship along. Literally a sail that is pushed by light pressure instead of wind pressure.

All of this is obviously boomer nonsense but I'm really tired so I'm not saying it's aliens but it is, to quote the show Tom Nichols is proud to be an "expert" on, it's definitely aliens.

Here's the actual paper proposing the "light sail" explanation for the object's "peculiar acceleration."

Warning: It's all math, and there are virtually no tits in it at all.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 06:53 PM

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