Harvard researchers say it's possible that a mysterious object that passes through space could be an alien spacecraft that has been transferred to another civilization near the Earth.
Scientists are hasty over Oumuamua, since the mysterious object was observed when the sun fell in late 2017.
Some experts think that its flat, elongated shape and how it accelerated in its trajectory through the solar system, distinguished it from traditional asteroids and comets.
In November, Harvard's researcher will publish a scientific paper The Astrophysical Journal Letters, which will increase the possibility that Oumoamua could be "a fully functioning probe that has been deliberately transferred to the Earth with the alien civilization."
The pair argue that after a thorough mathematical analysis, the object might be a spacecraft known as a "light cushion" in space exploration circles.
Who would have sent such a spacecraft our way – and why?
"It's not possible to guess a target beyond Oummouth without additional data," said Avi Loeb, chairman of the Harvard Astronomical Division and co-author of the paper, NBC News reported in an e-mail. He added: "If Oumumah is a light bulb, then," he added, "one possibility is that it is floating interstellar when our solar system got into it," just as the ship gets into the surface of the ocean. "
Loeb and his collaborator Shmuel Bialy, Ph.D. student at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Center, admit that the alien space ship's scenario is an "exotic" idea.
Other space scientists have big doubts about it and there are likely to be other, more diverse explanations.
These include Coryn Bailer-Jones, an astronomer at Max Planck's Astronomical Institute in Heidelberg, Germany:
"In science," he said in an e-mail: "We should ask ourselves:" Where is the evidence? ", Rather" Where is the lack of evidence so that I can fit into any hypothesis that I like? "
Bailer-Jones, who led the group of scientists at the beginning of this year, which allegedly identified the origins of Oumoamua as four dwarf stars, raised questions about the movement of the object.
Why send a spacecraft that does it? "He said:" If it were a spacecraft, it would not be possible to hold instruments on Earth for this search. Of course, now it could be said that it was an accident, or foreigners did it to deceive us. It is always possible to come up with increasingly unbelievable suggestions that have no evidence to keep an idea. "
But Loebs called the assumption of "purely scientific and evidence-based," adding, "I follow the Sherlock Holmes peak: if you've turned off the impossible, then what remains is still unbelievable, it must be true."
The truth can be difficult to determine, since Oumamuua has left the solar system and is no longer visible even with telescopes.
But Loeb said that the fact that we have seen one interstellar object, such as Oumama, suggests that the rest can be there. "