New Atlas reports that a group of scientists led by Gerry Harp have spent the better part of a year analyzing data from the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory in California. The researchers determined that between November 23 and December 5, 2017 when ‘Oumuamua was 170 million miles away, no artificial radio signals were being emitted from the mysterious rock. “We were looking for a signal that would prove that this object incorporates some technology – that it was of artificial origin,” Harp said in a statement. “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 assessing its likely makeup.” Basically, ‘Oumuamua is either not an alien vessel sent to spy on Earth, or the technology is far too advanced and stealthy for us to detect it…but science is leaning more toward the former, as to be expected.
A previous study suggested that the asteroid came from a world with two suns (like Tatooine in Star Wars), while another from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics sort of reaffirmed the theory that ‘Oumuamua was made (as a part of an alien spacecraft) and did not form naturally. Will we ever know exactly what the “scout” visitor was? The fact that actual scientists are doing so much speculation is honestly pretty entertaining, so we hope the mystery lasts forever.
Cover image: ESO/M. Kornmesser – CC BY 4.0