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Season 12: Science Stories in the News

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From NY Magazine

Aliens Might Have Sent Cigar-Shaped Probe to Monitor Earth, Study Finds

In October of last year, a mysterious, cigar-shaped interstellar object fell through our solar system at an extraordinary speed. When the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii first discovered “Oumuamua” — the object’s official nickname, meaning “a messenger who reaches out from the distant past” in Hawaiian — researchers assumed that it was an ordinary comet or asteroid. But the longer they observed Oumuamua, the more improbable that hypothesis appeared: After all, what kind of asteroid is ten times longer than it is wide, and suddenly accelerates in speed, for no discernible astrophysical reason?

A new paper from scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics offers an answer: the kind of asteroid that is actually a solar-powered component of an alien spacecraft that broke off its mothership while investigating Earth’s solar system.

Specifically, the paper postulates that Oumuamua is a “solar sail” — an object that propels itself through space by channeling solar energy, which is a technology that intelligent life-forms (such as they are) on Earth have already developed. This hypothesis would explain why Oumuamua suddenly accelerated while traveling through our solar system.

“Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that ‘Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment,” the study notes. “This would account for the various anomalies of ‘Oumuamua, such as the unusual geometry inferred from its light-curve, its low thermal emission, suggesting high reflectivity, and its deviation from a Keplerian orbit without any sign of a cometary tail or spin-up torques.”

<full article in the link>

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On 11/6/2018 at 5:55 PM, vonmar said:

<full article in the link>

It also says:

Quote

...Alan Jackson, fellow at the Centre for Planetary Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough, wrote in an email. “Carl Sagan once said, ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’ and this paper is distinctly lacking in evidence nevermind extraordinary evidence.”

Jackson published a paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in March that suggests that ‘Oumuamua came from a binary star system, or a system with two stars.

Still It would make for a little background discussion between raj and someone.

Edited by djsurrey

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It's been proposed that the other face on  the new English £50 note should be a scientist.  My favourite suggestion is Rosalind Franklyn, the DNA scientist who couldn't get a Nobel Prize because it's not awarded posthumously.

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Today the Nobel prizes are handed out in Stockholm, Sweden and also the Nobel peace prize in Oslo, Norway.

One cool thing about this year's award cermony, is that a woman will get the Nobel prize in physics and that's the first time in 55 years.

The whole thing costs about 100 million SEK (10 million USD) to arrange.

Edited by Swedish Chef

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8 hours ago, Swedish Chef said:

Today the Nobel prizes are handed out in Stockholm, Sweden and also the Nobel peace prize in Oslo, Norway.

One cool thing about this year's award cermony, is that a woman will get the Nobel prize in physics and that's the first time in 55 years.

The whole thing costs about 100 million SEK (10 million USD) to arrange.

Thank You!

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This should be of interest to Raj...

Quote

New Horizons successfully explores Ultima Thule

NASA spacecraft reaches most distant target in history

Date:
January 1, 2019
Source:
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past Ultima Thule in the early hours of New Year's Day, ushering in the era of exploration from the enigmatic Kuiper Belt, a region of primordial objects that holds keys to understanding the origins of the solar system.

from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190101130547.htm 

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