Most recently, in October, our solar systemfirst visited the interstellar space object. The body, called Oumuamoua (which means “messenger” from Hawaiian), attracted the attention of astronomers and space enthusiasts from around the world. So much so that even the assumption appeared that this object could be an interstellar space probe sent by a sensible and very advanced civilization.
Disputes in the scientific community have attracted evenRussian billionaire Yuri Milner, behind the scientific initiative Breakthrough Listen, intrigued by this probability. Therefore, soon after meeting with the head of the department of astronomy at Harvard Avi Loeb, the initiative research group Breakthrough Listen announced that it was going to follow Oumuamua and check whether he was transmitting any subtle radio signals that would clearly indicate that he was not next space cobblestone.
In a correspondence with Milner Loeb noted:
"The more I study this object, the moreit starts to seem unusual to me, forcing me to think about whether it is not artificial and if it is not a kind of probe from an extraterrestrial civilization. ”
Third-party observers point out that suspicionsLoeb to some extent really justified. The object was first discovered by the Pan-STARRS telescope located on the island of Hawaii, and immediately showed some very unusual properties for a simple asteroid or comet. To tell the truth, scientists first thought that Oumuamua is just a comet, but since it did not have a coma — clouds of dust and gas, usually surrounding the comet's core, as well as the tail — this assumption was quickly abandoned.
The shape of the object was also very unusual. It is strongly elongated and has a small width, while the majority of the asteroids previously observed by us had a much more circular shape. Of course, such a feature does not exclude the fact that the object is an asteroid (especially against the background that it is definitely not a comet, since it does not have a tail), but nevertheless it creates some additional questions.
The Breakthrough Listen group will begin monitoringobject using the Green Bank radio telescope this Wednesday, December 13th. Hoping to find and intercept the radio signal transmitted by the object, the telescope will monitor it for ten hours, in the range of four radio frequencies. Of course, scientists are more confident that Oumuamua is a naturally educated object, but science, as a rule, does not reject various assumptions until proven otherwise.