Goodwin recalls that the news of the discovery of ʻOumuamu caught him at the hearing, and his colleague immediately asked a rhetorical question how long it would take for someone to claim that it was a spaceship.
“It seems that whenever astronomers discover anything unusual, someone claims that it must be aliens“The author of the commentary points out. He points out that almost all scientists believe that ʻOumuamua does not seem to come from the solar system and is an asteroid, or a comet-like formation that left another star, travels through interstellar space and was captured by mankind.
But not everyone agrees, says the astrophysicist, referring to Harvard University professor of astronomy Avi Loeb, who suggests in a recent book that it is in fact an alien ship. Goodwin wonders how sustainable the claim is and why most scientists disagree.
Scientists estimate that the Milky Way contains 100 million comets and asteroids that have left their planetary systems, and that approximately every year one of these objects will pass through our solar system, according to an expert. He therefore makes sense, according to him, that ʻOumuamua is one of them; after all, last year we recorded another one, called Borisov, which suggests that these flybys are in line with our estimates.
On the object of ʻOumuamu, it is interesting that it does not fly in the expected path, but its trajectory shows additional gravitational force, the professor admits. He adds that this is not so unusual, as the pressure of solar radiation or gas and other particles that are released as the object heats up on its way to the Sun, creates an additional force known to all comets.
Experts on comets and the solar system have tested various explanations, but given the small size, dark surface of the object and the speed of its flight, the images could not give a clear answer, says the astrophysicist. He notes that Loeb concludes from this that ʻOumuamua is a ship powered by a solar sail that uses the radiant pressure of a star amplified by huge mirrors.
Loeb argues that the gravity-inaccurate acceleration of an object is a sign of intentional control, which he infers from the fact that ʻOumuamua lacks a gas cloud or tail, which usually accompanies similar accelerations of comets, explains the author of the commentary.
The veracity of this hypothesis cannot be verified, the professor declares. It explains why similar claims are moreover rejected by the scientific community from an experienced scientist. “If we decide that anything slightly strange that we don’t fully understand in astronomy can be extraterrestrials, then we have a lot of potential evidence about extraterrestrials – there’s an awful lot of things we don’t understand., “Goodwin writes. He adds that science resists jumping to miraculous conclusions every time it discovers something strange, with many rational tests.
One of them is Occam’s razor, which tells us that the simplest solution leads to the least number of new questions, the professor points out. Notes that if we put the problem as whether ʻOumuamua is a natural object that we assume are very common in the Milky Way or an alien ship, the second option raises a whole set of additional questions, which means that Occam’s razor commands him to reject it until than all simpler options are ruled out.
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Another test is the general rule that extraordinary things require extraordinary evidence, which is certainly not a fully understood principle of acceleration, as there are many other explanations for it, Goodwin points out. He adds that another test is often a slow but usually reliable system of review procedures, where scientists publish their conclusions in professional journals, where they are evaluated and possibly criticized by experts in the field.
“That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for aliens“The astrophysicist continues. He assures that a lot of money and money is invested in this search, and for the real scientists who are dealing with it, there is a separate field, astrobiology, a science that seeks life outside the Earth on the basis of biological activity.
For example, a Perserverance vehicle landed on Mars on February 18 to search for molecules that could carry such traces, according to Goodwin. He notes that other interesting targets are the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and in five years’ time we will have technology to search for extraterrestrial life on exoplanets, the atmospheres of which will be analyzed in detail by the James Webb Space Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope in Chile. – Oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere, for example, lasts because life is constantly replenishing it.
Meanwhile, the SETI initiative has been monitoring the sky with radio telescopes for decades, searching for messages from intelligent aliens, the academic recalls. He has no doubt that the signs of extraterrestrial life would be an amazing discovery, but when we discover them, we must be absolutely sure, as sure as possible, and therefore the conclusions must be confronted with other experts who will subject them to their own research and criticism, based on scientific methods, thus slowly and hardly reaching our goal.
“This will give us much more reliable evidence than someone claiming a book to sell“Goodwin declares. He does not rule out that in the coming decade someone will announce the discovery of evidence of extraterrestrial life, but he assures that Loeb ‘s book is definitely not it.
Source: EuroZprávy.cz by eurozpravy.cz.
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