Home » News & Blogs » ‘Oumuamua: visitor from another star
Bookmark and Share
Physics World Blog

‘Oumuamua: visitor from another star

12 Feb 2019, 09:30 UTC
‘Oumuamua: visitor from another star
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

There is an interstellar interloper in our solar system that has astronomers firing shots at each other. Careering through our solar system fast enough to escape the gravitational pull of our Sun, it has excited, inspired and confounded astronomers. Is it an asteroid? Is it a comet? Is it a broken-off solar sail from an alien spacecraft? Or could it even be an alien probe? These are all proposals made in bona fide peer-reviewed scientific papers, based on observations of this mysterious object. As it speeds back out into interstellar space, the debate in the astronomy community continues apace on Earth.
Ever since the first news stories about ‘Oumuamua broke in mid-October 2017, comparisons with science fiction have filled headlines, especially the mention of aliens. Here is an interstellar object that scientists can’t define – in fact, they aren’t even sure what it’s doing in our celestial neighbourhood.
Planet Earth is teeming with life. Even in the harshest environments, life finds a way. Our galaxy is packed with stars, many of which host their own planetary systems, with many of those home to rocky planets orbiting at a distance conducive to temperate atmospheres. It seems unlikely that we are alone ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day