Oumuamua caused a sensation last year after being sighted for the first time. It is the first detected object that comes from another planetary system.
The scientist at Harvard University, Abraham Loeb, in an article takes up the debate on the origin of this interstellar body and proposes its explanation: this could have an alien origin.
Loeb says it could be a "solar sail", an object driven by solar radiation. This is because when the object approached, its speed increased.
"The object entered our system around 1837. But it could not be seen until 2017 because it was too far from the Sun: it could not reflect enough light to be captured." Once approached to the Sun, it moved quickly and remained a short period in the region where it is visible to today's telescopes, "he explains.
According to the expert, these characteristics agree with some of the space projects that humanity works, for example, with a Japanese proposal called IKAROS which has shown "the principle of solar sail" and which tries to reach great speeds from solar radiation.
"The most intriguing thing was the fact that its trajectory deviated from that expected in function of the gravitational force of the Sun. This force produces a missile effect, caused by the degassing of the comet (this is the name given to the vaporization of the ice suffered by the comet when they pass near the Sun), but no comet tail has been seen around Oumuamua ", the scientist asks himself.
Furthermore, in this process of degassing, according to Loaeb, it should have produced a variation in its rotation period, but it was not detected either. "So, if it were not for the degassing of the comet, what could be the cause of its excessive acceleration?" He asks.
"Oumuamua could be an obsolete technological waste of equipment that, it is not clear, if they are still operating or no longer work", concludes the scientist in his text published in the newspaper Clarín.
However, other scientists reject the proposal, like Alan Fitzsimmons, an astrophysicist from the University of Queens. "It has already been shown that its observed characteristics are consistent with a comet-like body expelled from another star system, "he says.
This space body received its name from the Hawaiian language, because Oumuamua means a messenger who comes from afar.
- * With information on Clarín and AFP
December 9, 2018, 23:12