Almost Christmas gift: Oumuamua

Picture P92Arthur Clarke once wrote: Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. Maybe that is why we are so vigilant and always ready to consider any object of a slightly unusual shape on the Earth or in the space for the aliens or their spacecraft. The news about the “evidence” of the aliens’ visit to the Earth fly the Internet almost every day, but they hardly represent real interest. Nevertheless, this time the situation is a bit different.

To date, about 750 thousand asteroids and comets have been found but all of them, presumably, originated in the Sun’s orbit and never flew away from it really far. But the observations of this object showed that it moves along an unclosed hyperbolic trajectory (the image below), this means that the object flew from outside of our Solar system and will soon leave it. The space object was first discovered on October 19, 2017. The name Oumuamua was chosen by the Pan-STARRS team who discovered the asteroid, in Hawaiian it means something like the stranger who arrived first from afar, and the letter I in the full designation 1I/Oumuamua was introduced for the first time and stands for interstellar. So, Oumuamua is the first and so far the only interstellar space object discovered in the Solar System. More detailed study of the asteroid showed that with its elongated shape it resembles a cigar, this also differs it from all known asteroids. This was one of the reasons for which a bold assumption was made: the object could be artificially created, and this form, according to experts, would minimize the damage from interstellar dust and gas. In addition, if you force such an object to rotate, the similar construction is theoretically effective for creating artificial gravity, and this asteroid practically continuously rotates. This is already really becoming interesting! The observations of the asteroid continue, and researchers representing the Breakthrough Listen project stated that they intend to search Oumuamua for sources of radio signals which might indicate that it is something more than a simple cosmic body. Who knows, maybe the appearance of Oumuamua in our cosmos means opening up entirely new opportunities for us… Wish everyone many new positive and breathtaking opportunities in the coming Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 🙂

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