Oumuamua-or "messenger from afar arriving first" in Hawaiian-was first discovered in October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.
Since scientists are not able to explain the unusual features of a celestial body and its origin, giving it finally a new class of "interstellar objects".
It "may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization", states a paper by two Harvard scientists to be published November 12 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Oumuamua, the first interstellar object known to enter our solar system, accelerated faster away from the Sun than expected, hence the notion that some kind of artificial sail that runs on sunlight - known as a light sail - may have helped push it through space. "Lightsails with similar dimensions have been designed and constructed by our own civilization", an excerpt from the paper read. "Technology the light sails can be used to transport cargo between planets or between the stars", the researchers note.
"Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that 'Oumuamua is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment", the scientists wrote.
It was first recognised as a comet, but was later described as an asteroid.
"In science", he said in an email, "we must ask ourselves, "Where is the evidence?, not "Where is the lack of evidence so that I can fit in any hypothesis that I like?"
It was initially classified as a comet but, according to the Express, Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb disagree, saying that it could have been a spacecraft which relies on radiation as a source of power sent to find other signs of galaxies. "Carl Sagan once said, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" and this paper is distinctly lacking in evidence nevermind extraordinary evidence". In order for it to be effective, Oumuamua needs to be less than a millimeter in thickness, like a sail. Unfortunately, the team heard only silence, but that isn't stopping some researchers from imagining the possibility of Oumuamua being a spacecraft sent to survey our Solar System or even Earth, specifically.
A massive flattened boulder-like object traveling through space with "peculiar acceleration" could be an alien craft, according to a new study.
If Oumuamua is evidence of an alien civilization seeking out life beyond its home solar system, we may never know.