Oumuamua - a strange theory & thoughts about science


Honorary Master
Feb 3, 2012
Posted before? Anyway - found the story interesting.
A quick backstory...
On October 19, 2017, astronomers at the University of Hawaii spotted a strange object travelling through our solar system, which they later described as “a red and extremely elongated asteroid.” It was the first interstellar object to be detected within our solar system;

Of particular interest was it's trajectory and acceleration...
Oumuamua showed deviations from a Keplerian orbit at a high statistical significance. The observed trajectory is best explained by an excess radial acceleration...

One of the scientists at Harvard did a lot of fancy sums and buried in his math-heavy paper published on Oumuamua made the following comment:
Alternatively, a more exotic scenario is that ‘Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.

Not the kind of thing one usually sees in such papers. I heard about this in a podcast discussion with him which is what I found most interesting as it's a talk not just about Oumuamua, but also about science, about being wrong, and about kneejerk outrage from the broader community.

The podcast episode: https://after-on.com/episodes-31-60/040