23 February, 2019

‘Oumuamua: Alleged Alien Craft Images (Telescoped+Hubble)

‘Oumuamua remains the first and (thus far) only interstellar visitor we’ve caught skipping through our solar system. The data available on it are limited, but that doesn’t stop researchers around the world from wondering what they can find within its depths. “What’s especially fascinating is that people are still writing papers on it,” says Meech, “even though we effectively got a couple weeks of data with everyone trying, and then the HST and the Spitzer data went a little longer, but that’s it. And people are still writing papers."

What’s more, A recent TED talk Meech gave on ‘Oumuamua currently has more than 2 million views and is continuing to gain more, she says. “Clearly people are interested.”

It’s certainly an interesting object. Its strange properties have even prompted some to suggest it’s of truly alien — as in, alien-built — origin. But those arguments don’t really hold up against the data we do have, Meech says, limited though it may be.

So while it’s not an alien spaceship or an artificial light sail, ‘Oumuamua is still a mysterious, transient visitor that has captured the attention of researchers and the public alike.

Below are some interesting images of ‘Oumuamua
‘Oumuamua is highlighted, ESO/K. Meech et al. November 20, 2017
This very deep combined image shows the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua at the center of the image. It is surrounded by the trails of faint stars that are smeared as the telescopes tracked the moving comet. The image was created by combining multiple images from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope as well as the Gemini South Telescope. The object is marked with a blue circle and appears to be a point source, with no surrounding dust.

Daniel Bamberg (@renerpho)

On January 2nd 2018, the Hubble Space Telescope has again imaged the interstellar asteroid 1I/'Oumuamua. At magnitude +27.5, it is now at the limit of what Hubble can reliably detect in a single orbit, so this will be the last image of the remarkable object 1I/'Oumuamua.

ESO/M. Kornmesser / Artist Rendition