Tags: comet | space | extraterrestrial | alien life

Scientists Studying 'Alien Comet' for Signs of Life

Image: Scientists Studying 'Alien Comet' for Signs of Life

Monday, 11 Dec 2017 11:11 PM

Astronomers are set to scan an "alien" comet — the first interstellar object seen in the solar system — for signs of extraterrestrial signals, The Atlantic reported.

The cigar-shaped object, named Oumuamua — a Hawaiian word for "messenger — barreled into view last month, the outlet reported, and now a team of alien-seeking scientists led by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner will scan it before it sails beyond the reach of Earth telescopes.

"The more I study this object, the more unusual it appears, making me wonder whether it might be an artificially made probe which was sent by an alien civilization," Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard's astronomy department and one of Milner's advisers, wrote in the email to Milner, per The Atlantic.

Astronomers have been puzzled by the space rock, The Atlantic reported — and the new observations could provide some clarity.

According to The Atlantic, unlike the potato-shaped asteroids of our solar system, the 400-meter-long Oumuamua is perhaps 10 times as long as it is wide.

"Whether it's artificial or not, we will definitely know more about this object," Milner told The Atlantic.

So far, observations partially funded by NASA suggested the object had been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system, the U.K.-based Daily Mail reported.

"For decades we've theorized that such interstellar objects are out there, and now – for the first time – we have direct evidence they exist," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, said in a statement in November, per the Daily Mail.

"This history-making discovery is opening a new window to study formation of solar systems beyond our own."

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An "alien" comet is being studying for signs of extraterrestrial signals or life, according to The Atlantic.
comet, space, extraterrestrial, alien life
Monday, 11 Dec 2017 11:11 PM
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