Oumuamua, a mysterious object that passed through the solar system in 2017, can be considered a “plausible” candidate for “artificial origin” experts say. Their research to prove this should definitively disprove the rival conventional theory, Express reports.
The sensational statement was made by Amir Siraj, who, together with fellow Harvard physics professor Avi Loeb, wrote a paper entitled Eliminating the Nitrogen Model for Oumuamua. The text of the manuscript was recently accepted for publication in the journal New Astronomy.
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Oumuamua was spotted by Robert Verick on October 19, 2017 with a telescope at the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii.
Since then, the scientific community has not abated controversy about what Oumuamua is. Researchers pay special attention to its specific, flattened shape, reminiscent of a pancake.
Professor Loeb has sparked fierce controversy over his speculation that it could be an alien probe powered by what he believes to be a solar sail technology.
Many of his colleagues are extremely skeptical, and two studies published in March showed that it could have been a large chunk of nitrogen ice from an exoplanet similar to Pluto that broke off millions of years ago – the so-called “nitrogen iceberg”.
But Amir Siraj, director of interstellar research at the Harvard Galileo Project, is systematically researching evidence of extraterrestrial technological artifacts, and believes the latest study he co-authored with Professor Loeb refutes that fact.
Mr Siraj told Express.co.uk: “The nitrogen conclusion has received a lot of attention.
“However, we show that the nitrogen model requires a mass of heavy elements that exceed the total quantity locked in stars – the absolute theoretical maximum – which means that there is the model is ruled out.”
He also stressed that neither he nor Professor Loeb make any definite conclusions.
“We do not know what Oumuamua is. We just know that it is not nitrogen, because the amount of resources required for its formation is unrealistic,” the researcher concluded.