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The alleged asteroid Oumuamua has been the subject of lively debate in scientific circles for over a year now, extraterrestrial theories and more traditional theories showing no sign of stopping.
What was perceived as the interstellar asteroid, later called Oumuamua, first appeared in October 2017 when it was first sighted whistling in the sun in Hawaii and has since aroused genuine scientific interest. The Hawaiian name translates roughly as "first," thus referring to the "first messenger," several media reports said.
Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb made headlines at the time because of his very special interpretation of the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system and remains true to his conclusions.
"For me, the question of whether we are alone is the most fundamental in science," said Avi Loeb, director of the astronomy department of the American University. He argues that it is essential from a scientific point of view to at least try to conduct a survey on foreigners in Oumuamua. In an interview, he told The Express that people are really upset by the hypothesis taking into account their general prejudices about extraterrestrial civilizations.
"There is all this stuff of science fiction and unidentified flying objects (UFOs)," he said, adding that the scientific community "avoids discussing research", which he supports using its speaker status and reputation with the highest university in the United States. .
"If I had to pretend that Oumuamua had to be of artificial origin, it would have required extraordinary evidence," he said, saying his goal was "to motivate to collect more."
According to Loeb, if it's as thin as a pancake, Oumuamua could be a sail of light or solar, propelled by solar radiation, much like the wind pushes a boat. NASA and other research groups, such as Breakthrough Starshot, of which Loeb is a part, are currently developing and testing this promising technology.
"It is quite possible that another civilization, which had much more time for its technological development, has already matured this technology and, therefore, uses it," he said. , adding that this was not speculation, but scientific assumptions based on the unusual trajectory of Oumuamua. and inexplicable acceleration of speed.
"One can imagine many other civilizations because a quarter of all stars have a planet of size and approximate temperature of the Earth's surface. And these planets could accommodate liquid water and therefore the chemistry of life as we know it, "remarked the astronomer before continuing:
"And so, if you roll the dice billions of times in the Milky Way, it is highly likely that we are not alone," he said, recalling that Oumuamua did not look like any asteroid or comet never seen in this solar system, since it deviated from the traditional orbit and presented no alternative, it did not present any typical cometary trail.
It is not surprising, of course, that the view has been widely criticized. An astrophysicist tweeted that the authors "insulted an honest scientific inquiry to even suggest it," while another, Julie Ziffer, who heads the physics department at the University of Southern Maine, said that She did not see the above as a "probable scenario", agree with many others that Oumuamua is of natural origin.
"I think it's been ejected from any other system and probably constitutes a fragment of a rocky body," Ziffer said. She cited three reasons why she does not believe that Oumuamua is an alien object: the absence of detected radio signal, then the fact that it switches over instead of being controlled.
Finally, Ziffer said that the shipment would have occurred millions of years ago and that the solar system would have obviously left the solar system never to return to it again. Meanwhile, according to Amaya Moro-Martin of the Space Telescope Institute of Science in Baltimore, quoted by New Scientist, Oumuamua is a natural phenomenon that could be a fractal snowflake.