“Looks very similar” — this is how the astronomers reacted, looking at the asteroid 2011 AG5 , which they recently took pictures of.
The asteroid was captured from a distance of almost 2 million kilometers – in early February 2023, it flew past the Earth. Several images were obtained using the 70-meter antenna of the Goldstone Solar System Radar in Southern California.
NASA experts first of all drew attention to the elongated shape of this 2011 AG5 – completely uncharacteristic of asteroids. It is cigar-shaped, the length (about 600 meters) is five times the diameter.
This gave reason to compare it with that giant “cigar” that flew into the solar system in October 2017. ‘Oumuamua or “Messenger Who Arrived First from afar” in the literal translation from the Hawaiian. The trajectory of the object stretched to other worlds – either to the constellation Virgo, or the Unicorn, or the Whale.
The “newcomer” was so amazing with its oddities that some quite serious scientists, summing them up, saw signs of intelligent interference in Oumuamua. The “Asteroid” was abnormally bright – it shone like a metal, had a complex-shaped surface, and most importantly, periodically accelerated – as if someone controlled it.
Professor Abraham Avi Loeb of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, a member of the US Presidential Council on Science and Technology and the “leader” of enthusiasts who defend the version that ‘Oumuamua equipped some alien civilization, even wrote a book based on their arguments: “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth”.
And now 2011 AG5. The fact that the asteroid is interstellar cannot be asserted – it revolves around the Sun, making one revolution in 621 days. But it’s not a fact that the object is local. Where and when it started, how long ago it arrived, is unknown – it was discovered only in January 2011.
Astronomers estimated the guest’s orbit and were very frightened – from the data available at that time it followed that in 2040, during the next approach, it might not fly past. The chances of crashing into the Earth was 1 in 625 – that is, a cataclysm is very likely.
In 2012, the orbit was rechecked and it turned out that the fears were unfounded – a collision was ruled out.
As NASA experts now assure, in 2040 2011 AG5 will fly by at a distance of 1.1 million kilometers. How to understand the “clarification” is not entirely clear – whether the mathematicians were mistaken, or the object changed the trajectory, deliberately minimizing the risk of a collision.
Loeb’s like-minded hypothesis: ‘Oumuamua and 2011 AG5 are reconnaissance alien probes. Most likely automatic. 2011 AG5 – already purposefully sent to the solar system. It reached and went into orbit around the Sun – to “see” the most attractive planets in terms of the possibility of life.
And the orbit of 2011 AG5 is just such that Venus, Earth and Mars, located in the so-called habitable zone, regularly fall into its field of view. We, for example, are looking for just such in distant and nearby stars. So far, however, with the help of telescopes.
NASA is not giving up on the idea of testing whether ‘Oumuamua is man-made. According to the existing Lira project, it is supposed to launch an earth probe in pursuit. The object that is now approaching Pluto seems to be really possible to catch up thanks to Jupiter. That is, due to the so-called gravitational maneuver (Jupiter-Obert maneuver).
The mystery of the “second alien probe” – 2011 AG5 – can be solved even faster. After all, it seems that he is not going to leave the solar system yet, and object regularly appears near the Earth. It would be wise to send a mission to the “asteroid”.
‘Oumuamua is the first alien probe discovered by mankind (well, let’s assume so) – not the first sent by an extraterrestrial civilization. Or at least the second one. The first one was most likely what we believe to be the second – the 2011 AG5.
How such a misunderstanding could have happened was recently clarified by Graeme Smith, a professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California. He presented his arguments in the International Journal of Astrobiology in the article “On the first probe to transit between two interstellar civilizations“.
If a space-faring civilization embarks on a program to send probes to interstellar destinations, the first probe to arrive at such a destination is not likely to be one of the earliest probes, but one of much more advanced capability.
This conclusion is based on a scenario in which an extraterrestrial civilization (ETC) embarks upon an interstellar program during which it launches increasingly sophisticated probes whose departure speed increases as a function of time throughout the program.
Two back-of-the-envelope models are considered: one in which the launch velocity of an outgoing vehicle increases linearly with the time of launch, and a second in which the increase is exponential with launch date.
In this theory consideration is directed to an hypothesized probe arriving within the Solar System from a non-terrestrial civilization. Within the above scenarios, a first-encounter probe will be one that was launched well after the initiation of an interstellar program by an ETC.
Apparently, 2011 AG5 – the second probe discovered by us – nevertheless arrived first and began systematic research in the solar system. We only noticed it after Oumuamua, who took off earlier, but was less perfect and just rushed past.
Perhaps there is some cunning third probe hiding somewhere. Or the probes that overtook the two identified and arrived at the Earth in ancient times. The professor does not exclude that the UFOs that accompany people throughout history are somehow connected with them.