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Travern

Newfound Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua Monitored for Signs of Alien Intelligence

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Travern

Today the Breakthrough Listen initiative will begin monitoring the strange interstellar object named ‘Oumuamua in its search for evidence of technological life in the Universe:
 

Breakthrough Listen, the global astronomical program searching for evidence of civilizations beyond Earth, announced that it is currently focusing its observational efforts on ‘Oumuamua, the mysterious interloper recently spotted moving rapidly through the solar system.
 
‘Oumuamua was discovered by the Pan-STARRS project at the University of Hawaii in October 2017, passing Earth at about 85 times the distance to the Moon – a stone’s throw, in astronomical terms. It is the first object discovered in the solar system that appears to originate from another star system. Its high speed – 196,000 mph at its peak – suggests it is not gravitationally bound to the Sun, but will continue its voyage back into interstellar space. It has a highly unusual structure for an asteroid – an elongated cigar shape, hundreds of meters in length but with width and height perhaps only one tenth as long.


Researchers working on long-distance space transportation have previously suggested that a cigar or needle shape is the most likely architecture for an interstellar spacecraft, since this would minimize friction and damage from interstellar gas and dust. While a natural origin is more likely, there is currently no consensus on what that origin might have been, and Breakthrough Listen is well positioned to explore the possibility that ‘Oumuamua could be an artifact.

Listen’s observation campaign will begin on Wednesday, December 13 at 3:00 pm ET.


Artist's impression of â€˜Oumuamua, which, in honor of being the first known interstellar object, was named in Hawaiian to mean "scout" (from Ê»ou, meaning "reach out for", and mua, reduplicated for emphasis​, meaning "first, in advance of").
 
171213_SCI_Oumuamua-Aliens.jpg.CROP.prom
 
While it's no Rama, I'm holding out hope â€˜Oumuamua will be something out of Quatermass 2.

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Jiminy

I wonder if Oumuamua deployed a tiny lander probe as it sped towards our sun...?

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yockenthwaite

So far no signs of alien technology discovered. But it's certainly a great spur for gaming ideas :)

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