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‘Oumuamua is Back to Being an Interstellar Space Rock — For Now

‘Oumuamua is Back to Being an Interstellar Space Rock — For Now 90

It’s a comet! It’s an alien space ship! It’s an asteroid! It’s a space ship! It’s a weird comet! It’s a weird space ship! It’s a weird asteroid! It’s a (weird or otherwise) something else! It’s ‘Oumuamua, the interstellar space object that has mystified, enthralled and enraged astronomers, rocket scientists and the general public ever since it wagged its almost non-existent tail as made its turn around the sun and headed out to parts unknown before anyone could get a good look at it … which is just one of the problems that has caused the controversies and debates over what it is. The latest “this is what ‘Oumuamua REALLY is or isn’t” comes from the University of Maryland Department of Astronomy which contradicts all of those Giorgio Tsoukalos memes that say it’s definitely a spaceship. But do they know what it REALLY is?

“We have never seen anything like ‘Oumuamua in our solar system. It’s really a mystery still. But our preference is to stick with analogs we know, unless or until we find something unique. The alien spacecraft hypothesis is a fun idea, but our analysis suggests there is a whole host of natural phenomena that could explain it.”

In a report published in the current edition of the journal Nature Astronomy, Matthew Knight, an associate research scientist in the University of Maryland Department of Astronomy, reviewed all of the actual data collected up to and including the rear-end tracking that narrowed its origin down to one of four stars. Knight was one of the first to study ‘Oumuamua, co-authoring a study on its rotation and shape in December 2017 – just a few months after it was discovered.

‘Oumuamua is Back to Being an Interstellar Space Rock — For Now 91

“The alien-spacecraft camp threw the jets model out of the window.”

On his blog, co-author Sean Raymond lists the many “It’s aliens” arguments and attempts to scientifically debunk all of them. For example, it has comet-like outgassing which could both propel and spin it, but its small size makes it difficult to see. He also points out that we know so little about interstellar objects that ‘Oumuamua’s strange shape – which we still don’t know for sure if it’s cigar-like or maybe a weird pancake – could actually be pretty common. Nor do we know enough about how planets form to say many definitive things about how the ancillary space junk around them forms and how it might be kicked out of or escape from its solar system.

“We may start seeing a new object every year. That’s when we’ll start to know whether ‘Oumuamua is weird, or common. If we find 10 to 20 of these things and ‘Oumuamua still looks unusual, we’ll have to reexamine our explanations.”

‘Oumuamua is Back to Being an Interstellar Space Rock — For Now 92

Since we’re no longer getting new data from ‘Oumuamua, Knight is already looking to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) to help spot future interstellar objects earlier and get better looks and more data on them. Sending a space probe to meet up with one is still pretty far out in the future.

So, we still don’t know for sure what ‘Oumuamua is. Does this new study convince you that it’s not an alien spaceship or probe?

Or is this study a cover-up of what it really is? Tom DeLonge? Any thoughts?

Source: Mysterious Universe


In December, Earth’s inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 105

At the end of the year, astronomers expect to see a rare cosmic phenomenon dubbed the “Christmas star” in the sky. It will be caused by the fact that Saturn and Jupiter come close to each other at a minimum distance and almost collide to become one super-bright point of light.

These two planets became one straight line in the solar system a few weeks ago, but at the end of December they will be on it for observers from Earth. This will happen on December 21, 2020, on the day of the winter solstice, when the daylight hours are the shortest and the night is the longest. Jupiter and Saturn will look like a “double planet” for the first time since the Middle Ages, Forbes writes.

“The conjunctions of the two planets are extremely rare, but this particular conjunction is especially rare because the planets will be very close to each other,” Patrick Hartigan, astronomer at Rice University, USA said. “In order to observe a closer conjunction of these planets in the night sky, we would have to return on March 4, 1226.”

It is noted that the unusual celestial phenomenon can be observed from anywhere on the planet. The main thing is that the sky is clear. The “Christmas Star” can be seen in the western sky about an hour after sunset when viewed from the northern hemisphere.

“On the evening of their closest approach, December 21, they will appear as a twin planet, separated by less than 1/5 the diameter of the full moon,” Hartigan said. “For most amateur astronomers looking at the night sky through a telescope, both planets and several of their largest satellites will be in the same field of view this evening.”

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 106

Those who want to see Jupiter and Saturn converge in the sky as close, but will be higher above the horizon, will have to wait until March 15, 2080, Hartigan said. After that, a similar configuration for this planetary pair will not be observed until 2400.

Astronomers are already preparing equipment to analyze in detail the upcoming event. Everything is very serious, because the second such rapprochement between Jupiter and Saturn cannot be expected.

Of course, there will not be a collision of planets. You just get the impression that something terrible is about to happen in the solar system. Astronomers have assured that there is no reason to worry.

Is the “Christmas Star” an omen of things to come? Mark your calendars! 

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A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth

A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth 107

NASA announced the imminent flight of a potentially dangerous asteroid will pass the Earth. The website of the Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects says that a celestial body ranging in size from 370 to 820 meters will approach the planet on November 29.

The asteroid, consisting of nickel, iron and cobalt, is approaching the Earth. The cost of minerals in its composition reaches $ 17.4 billion, with reference to the Asterank database, which contains data on 600 thousand asteroids.

The distance between the asteroid 153201 (2000 WO107) and the Earth will be more than 4 million kilometers, the Space Reference specified with reference to NASA data. It is noted that the distance from the Earth to the Moon is 10 times less, and the asteroid is considered dangerous because it crosses the orbit of our planet.

According to the NASA Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects, the celestial body will approach the Earth on November 29. 

It is noted that this time the asteroid does not pose a threat to the planet, however, it belongs to the group of potentially dangerous ones, since its trajectory crosses the Earth’s orbit.

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Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars

Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars 108

NASA’s new rover is equipped with a microphone to record sounds during landing on the Red Planet.

NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is en route to Mars, has recorded its flight to the planet.

The new rover is equipped with a microphone designed to record sound when entering the atmosphere, descent and landing. The device should arrive on the Red Planet in February 2021.

But before the rover reached its destination, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released an audio file recording what the rover “hears” during its interplanetary voyage.

The 60-second recording, posted on SoundCloud, was captured on Oct.19 while checking the rover’s EDL and microphone system.

Experts explain that the buzzing sound comes from a pump that pumps fluid to regulate the rover’s temperature.

NASA compares the new hit for your playlist to the noise you hear on wired headphones when the wire rubs against your clothing. It was these mechanical vibrations that the Perseverance microphone picked up.

“Located at the rear of the starboard side of the Perseverance, the pump is part of the unit’s heat system that maintains operating temperatures for the equipment, even in the coldest locations,” JPL said in a statement.

“I apologize to the person who came up with the slogan for the film” Alien “(” No one in space will hear your scream “- ed.), Perhaps no one will hear the scream, but perhaps a pump to remove heat will be heard,” says a leading engineer at JPL Dave Gruel.

He added that the microphone picks up the hum of the pump through mechanical vibration.

The Perseverance rover is supposed to land on Mars on February 18, 2021 in the Jezero crater – it is believed that a riverbed used to pass through this area. This is one of those places where traces of living organisms on the planet could be preserved.

The main mission of the rover is to detect signs of life in order to advance the study of the ancient history of Mars. In addition, the device will become part of a mission to deliver samples from the surface of the red planet: it will dig out rock at certain points, and then another device will pick them up, which will send them to Earth.

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