Avi Loeb, chairman of Harvard University’s Astronomy Department and friend of late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, claims that the mysterious interstellar object Oumuamua is actually a spaceship sent be extraterrestrials, and it uses a solar sail for propulsion. “The Spitzer Space Telescope found no evidence of heat emission from the object, and that means that it is at least 10 times more reflective than a typical comet or asteroid. What we have, then, is a thin, flat, shiny object. So I arrived at the idea of a solar sail: A solar sail is a spaceship that uses the sun for propulsion. Instead of using fuel, it is propelled ahead by reflecting light. In fact, it’s a technology that our civilization is developing at this very time,” said Loeb. Read more for a video giving ten reasons why Oumuamua will blow your mind.
“The first question we asked is whether a sail like Oumuamua could survive billions of years in the Milky Way – and we discovered that it could. Being hit by interstellar dust or gas won’t wear it down. Afterward, we tried to calculate the acceleration a solar sail would cause in an object such as a ship or probe, and we found that the acceleration is consistent with that of Oumuamua,” adds Loeb.