Oumuamua, the first alien visitor

Shutterstock.com/ Dotted Yeti
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While the first alien visitor to our solar system of courses causes excitement it may not be exactly what you think. The alien visitor that was first spotted in our solar system in 2017 is not a living thing. It is a large rock that has entered our space making it the first interstellar object we have ever observed. This incredibly exciting discovery has puzzled scientists since it was spotted as they don’t really know what it is.

Some have suggested that the object could be an alien probe sent to inspect our solar system but those claims have been widely discredited with Neil deGrasse Tyson the famed physicist saying that it was terrible of the media to even highlight such things. The paper mentioned this possibility had not even been peer-reviewed so it was a poor ethical decision to spread this rumor. Well, we are happy to spread that rumor until it is ruled out because it sounds pretty cool.

The more likely explanations argue over whether the object is an asteroid, a comet, a part of a planet, or something else entirely. The object that has been called Oumuamau is exciting all astrophysicists in the world. Oumuamua is so named because it was first spotted by observers in Hawaii. They named it Oumuamua as Ou means ‘reach out far’ and mua means ‘first in advance of’ reflecting the idea that this rock is some object from very far away that may hold a message from the past. 

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Scientists now believe that the object came from one of four stars very far away. The long thick shaped object is going through space at such a speed and with such a strange trajectory that researchers were able to trace it back a certain amount. 

The leading theory at present is that the object is the shard of a planet. Scientists believe that two objects may have come too close together and their opposing gravitational forces may have torn a planet apart. The team put the shard into numerous simulations and this is the most plausible theory that came out of it. 

Others disagree. Some say it has to be a comet because it is accelerating. Others still say that the physical properties suggest it is actually an asteroid. Asteroids are comprised of metal and rock while comets are all gas, dust, and water. As this appears red in color, has a shine, and its elongated shape, some favor the asteroid theory. Other scientists again say that the shine shows it has a presence of water. That brings them back to the comet idea.

Whatever it is, it is not from our solar system making it incredibly unique and exciting. The object is hurtling through space at such a rate and strange trajectory as well. The way it is moving suggests it must have come in contact or been disrupted by some other force as it is not moving naturally. 

The rock is only part of our space for a short time. It is moving so quickly that we will only be able to view it for a few years. This is why scientists are so obsessed with discovering more about it. The clues it holds to the universe will soon disappear. The rock will pass by Neptune in 2022 before disappearing from our sight forever. Scientists need to act quickly to discover its origin story.

The good news is that scientists believe that this rock is one of many that visits our solar system, we just haven’t tracked them properly before. Once this alien leaves us, our attention will surely turn to find some more.

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