Oumuamua, the first-observed interstellar object flying in our Solar System, about which some think it’s an alien probe sent here to study our planetary system, is not alone anymore as scientists are tracking four potential interstellar objects. Two Harvard University researchers said that at least four known space rocks between the Sun and Jupiter could have originated from outside our Solar System.
The four potentially interstellar objects, dubbed as 2011 SP25, 2017 RR2, 2017 SV13, and 2018 TL6, became gravitationally-trapped in the past and now they spend their time between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune. Also, they pass through Earth’s neighborhood, Forbes reported, during their closest approaches to the Sun.
“We find that there should be hundreds of Oumuamua-size interstellar objects identifiable by Centaur-like orbits,” the two Harvard University researchers wrote in their study’s report. “The Sun-Jupiter system acts as a fishing net that collects interstellar objects. At any given time, there are a few thousand trapped objects within the solar system,” added Abraham Loeb for the Forbes.
Oumuamua Is Not Alone As Scientists Are Tracking Four Potential Interstellar Objects
“We do not know if they are comets, asteroids, or artifacts. We do not have any evidence that these [four] objects are unnatural at this point,” said Amir Siraj from the Harvard University to Bruce Dorminey, a Science contributor for the Forbes.
As for the Oumuamua’s reddish hue, Abraham Loeb added that NASA’s Spitzer infrared telescope readings revealed that a cometary activity is out of the question and that the cigar-shaped space rock might have a shiny surface, ruling out the possibility that Oumuamua is an asteroid.
“These results are at odds with the properties of comets and asteroids in the Solar System are fully consistent with an artificial origin,” said Loeb. So, according to him, the theory that Oumuamua is an alien probe might indeed be correct.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.