Document Analysis NLP IA
FREQ, RAKE or TFIDF
Summary (IA Generated)
A highly unusual object was spotted traveling through the solar system in 2017.
I was at a meeting when the discovery of ʻOumuamua was announced, and a friend immediately said to me, “So how long before somebody claims it’s a spaceship?” It seems that whenever astronomers discover anything unusual, somebody claims it must be aliens.
Nearly all scientists believe that ʻOumuamua probably originates from outside the solar system.
It is an asteroid- or comet-like object that has left another star and traveled through interstellar space – we saw it as it zipped by us.
Researchers estimate that the Milky Way should contain around 100 million billion comets and asteroids ejected from other planetary systemsand that one of these should pass through our solar system every year or so.
The pressure of solar radiation or gas or particles driven out as an object warms up close to the Sun can give extra force, and we see this with comets all the time.
Loeb, however, believes that ʻOumuamua is an alien spaceship, powered by a “light sail” – a method for propelling a spacecraft using radiation pressure exerted by the Sun on huge mirrors.
This argument seems largely to be based on the fact that ʻOumuamua lacks a fuzzy envelope (“coma”) and a comet-like tail, which are usual signatures of comets undergoing non-gravitational acceleration (although jets from particular spots cannot be ruled out).
Is this a natural object of the type that we suspect to be extremely common in the Milky Way, or is it aliens? Aliens raise a whole set of supplementary questions (who, why, from where?) which means Occam’s razor tells us to reject it, at least until all simpler explanations are exhausted.
Another sanity check is the general rule that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.
Yet another check is the often sluggish but usually reliable peer-review system, in which scientists publish their findings in scientific journals where their claims can be assessed and critiqued by experts in their field.
Alien research .
For astronomers who are interested in the proper science of aliens, there is “astrobiology” – the science of looking for life outside Earth based on signs of biological activity.
In the next five years, we will also have the technology to search for alien life on planets around other stars (exoplanets).
Both the James Webb Space Telescope (due to launch in 2021), and the European Extremely Large Telescope (due for first light in 2025) will analyze exoplanet atmospheres in detail, searching for signs of life.
Signs of alien life would be an amazing discovery.
To be as sure as we can be, we need to present our arguments to other experts in the field to examine and critique, follow the scientific method which, in its slow and plodding way, gets us there in the end.
This would give us much more reliable evidence than claims from somebody with a book to sell.
It is quite possible, in the next five to ten years, that somebody will announce that they have found good evidence for alien life.