Oumuamua - first ever interstellar object observed

Discussion in 'science, nature and environment' started by 2hats, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. 2hats


    I read the ice here was sub-surface so no significant coma would form.
  2. Idaho

    Idaho blah blah blah

    Luckily their timeframes are in the billions of years. In 560,000,000 AD they will come and smash us.
    farmerbarleymow likes this.
  3. NoXion

    NoXion It's been 600 years...

    'Oumuamua got closer to the Sun that Mercury does. Even if the ice was covered by a surface layer, I'd have thought getting that close would still produce enough heat to melt it.
  4. 2hats


    A newly published photometric study (doi:10.1038/s41550-018-0398-z) indicates that Oumuamua is tumbling chaotically which would suggest that it has suffered an impact (quite possibly around the time it left its parent system). This tumbling motion will take something on the scale of a billion years to damp out (spin stress/strain tidal braking).
    Almor likes this.
  5. S☼I

    S☼I Are they supposed to be as sick as you and me?

    farmerbarleymow likes this.
  6. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    The mystery deepens -

    Interstellar Comet ’Oumuamua Might Not Actually Be a Comet | Quanta Magazine
    Lupa likes this.
  7. 2hats


    A new Harvard paper entertains the idea that 'Oumuamua could be an alien lightsail.

    So we have an elongated object arriving from out of the ecliptic that appears to accelerate on leaving the solar system but with no apparent outgassing (no spin up). Not the behaviour of a comet or an asteroid, the non-gravitational acceleration scaled with 1/r^2 as it departed.

  8. farmerbarleymow

    farmerbarleymow Sweetcorn, Seagulls and Wasps are Brilliant!

    See. It's always aliens. :cool:
    moochedit, Lupa and Signal 11 like this.
  9. cheesethief

    cheesethief Well-Known Member

    Human knowledge: Incomplete.
    Measurement errors: Significant.
    Something that doesn't immediately & neatly fit within our known parameters of natural phenomena: Aliens.
    moochedit likes this.
  10. krtek a houby

    krtek a houby how's it going to end?

    Well, yes. It's certainly "alien" in the sense that it's not fitting into usual categories. Could be a rock, though or it could be remnants of an ancient probe.

    I'd like to think human vanity can be challenged and that we aren't alone out there :)
    farmerbarleymow likes this.
  11. cheesethief

    cheesethief Well-Known Member

    Well obviously, it'd be the bestest thing in the whole world ever of all time if it was really was evidence of ET.

    But it's a rock. Almost certainly.
    dylanredefined likes this.
  12. krtek a houby

    krtek a houby how's it going to end?

    I'm being optimistic and romantic about it - I'm not a boffin, just a geek ;)
    moochedit and cheesethief like this.
  13. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    If it *was* a probe, it exponentially increases the chances that SETI will find something.
    If it wasn't (it wasn't) then SETI is still our best bet. We'll hear them long before they come to visit.
    Signal 11 likes this.
  14. cheesethief

    cheesethief Well-Known Member

    I'm not so sure...

    Do we know where the "probe" came from? If we don't know its earlier trajectory we don't know which direction to look in. And as the man said, space is big, really big.

    It's not unreasonable to assume that it must've come a long way, otherwise if it originated from a nearby star with ET life, one would think we might've have noticed them by now.

    And if it came from a distant star, the volume to search increases exponentially. Even if ET sent it, knowing that may not help us actually find them.

    The chances of us being targeted specifically seem fanciful, more likely this putative intelligent species searched for interesting solar systems, using similar techniques to that which we ourselves use, and then dispatched hundreds or thousands of probes, one to each candidate system. At a few % c it might take each probe many millennia to reach its target star, before taking some readings, beaming the info back to homebase then heading off somewhere else.

    So if it is a probe we can't be sure which direction it originated from, we don't know if that was its course all along, we don't know how far its travelled, and don't even know if its progenitor race even still exists. Which doesn't really give SETI much help in pointing their telescopes.

    And that's if it is a probe. Which it isn't. It's a rock.
  15. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    I meant that physical evidence of ETs greatly increases the chances that we'll find radio evidence. We'd know for sure that there's something there to find. We'd have doubled the number of known intelligent species in the universe, which then influences the Drake equation.
  16. nuffsaid

    nuffsaid But this goes up to 11

  17. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    This is fascinating science.


    Wild Idea: What If Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua Is an Alien Light Sail?
    Lupa likes this.
  18. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus


  19. krtek a houby

    krtek a houby how's it going to end?

    And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to us regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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