On October 19, 2017, astronomer Robert Weryk discovered ‘Oumuamua, the first known interstellar object. ‘Oumuamua, which literally means first in Hawaiian, swung in the definitions of an asteroid and a comet. Despite its proximity to the sun, the object did not show signs of a coma, a gaseous tale as a result of heating caused by the sun, a defining feature of comets. However, the object was accelerating on its own, like comets. Now, scientists estimate that interstellar objects like ‘Oumuamua pass our solar system each year but we are not able to see them because they do not go so close to space.
However, the uncertainty about the origin of the first interstellar object gives room for imagination to Avi Loeb, a physicist-astronomer at Harvard University. In an opinion piece published in Scientific American, Loeb tries to see ‘Oumuamua in the context of a soon to be delivered report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena to the United States Congress. Loeb, stating that the report will admit that UAP is real, wonders if the recorded UAPs are natural or extraterrestrial or is there a possible link between the UFO seen on earth and ‘Oumuamua.
According to Loeb, scientists’ estimation about objects like ‘Oumuamua, that they exist in abundance, a quadrillion, seems unreasonable if they were to be believed of natural origin. However, if ‘Oumuamua is considered as an artificial object sent on a space mission with an aim to collect data from the habitable region around the sun, the numbers are reasonable.
Following this line of thought, even just for fun, Loeb writes that ‘Oumuamua could be a receiver that came to retrieve data from probes “sprinkled to earth” by a predecessor of the interstellar object. Loeb argues that the reason that we did not see that launcher and the probes coming to us could be because they came before we launched Pan-STARRS, a space telescope powerful enough to detect ‘Oumuamua. Loeb tries to validate his imagination by citing another object 2020 SO, which similar to ‘Oumuamua but is actually a rocket booster that was launched by humans in 1966.