Interstellar Asteroid 1I/2017 U1 'Oumuamua

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 17771
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

NASA Learns More About Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua

Post by bystander » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:49 pm

NASA Learns More About Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua
NASA | JPL-Caltech | Spitzer | 2018 Nov 14

In November 2017, scientists pointed NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope toward the object known as 'Oumuamua — the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system. The infrared Spitzer was one of many telescopes pointed at 'Oumuamua in the weeks after its discovery that October.

'Oumuamua was too faint for Spitzer to detect when it looked more than two months after the object's closest aproach to Earth in early September. However, the "non-detection" puts a new limit on how large the strange object can be. The results are reported in a new study published today in the Astronomical Journal and coauthored by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The new size limit is consistent with the findings of a research paper published earlier this year, which suggested that outgassing was responsible for the slight changes in 'Oumuamua's speed and direction as it was tracked last year: The authors of that paper conclude the expelled gas acted like a small thruster gently pushing the object. That determination was dependent on 'Oumuamua being relatively smaller than typical solar system comets. (The conclusion that 'Oumuamua experienced outgassing suggested that it was composed of frozen gases, similar to a comet.) ...

Spitzer Observations of Interstellar Object 1I/'Oumuamua ~ David E. Trilling et al
viewtopic.php?p=286710#p286710
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 17771
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

SETI: Radio Search for Artificial Emissions from 'Oumuamua

Post by bystander » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:25 pm

Radio Search for Artificial Emissions from 'Oumuamua
SETI Institute | 2018 Dec 04
It’s the first time a visitor from another star system has been seen nearby. But what is it? An asteroid, a comet … or an alien artifact?

Scientists at the SETI Institute have attempted to address this question by using the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) to observe 'Oumuamua when it was about 170 million miles away, or slightly less than the diameter of Earth’s orbit. The intention was to measure artificial radio transmissions which, if found, would be strong evidence that this object is not simply a rock tossed into space by a random gravitational slingshot interaction that occurred in its home star system.

“We were looking for a signal that would prove that this object incorporates some technology – that it was of artificial origin,” says Gerry Harp, lead author of a paper to be published in the February 2019 issue of Acta Astronautica. “We didn’t find any such emissions, despite a quite sensitive search. While our observations don’t conclusively rule out a non-natural origin for 'Oumuamua, they constitute important data in accessing its likely makeup.” ...

Radio SETI Observations of the Interstellar Object ′Oumuamua ~ G.R. Harp et al
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor