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A mysterious cigar-shaped object seen in our solar system previous year may have been alien spacecraft, sent to study the Land, he assumed the astronomers of Harvard University.

"It is impossible to guess the objective behind Oumuamua without more data", Loeb was quoted as saying.

The object was discovered previous year with the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope atop Haleakalā on Maui and was given the Hawaiian name ʻOumuamua, meaning 'a messenger from afar arriving first'.

In a new scientific paper, Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb of Harvard University in the USA will say cigar-shaped "Oumuamua" could be a spaceship.

Harvard researchers say about the possibility that this cosmic body could be "a work probe is deliberately sent to earth by an alien civilization".

Oumuamua was dubbed an "interstellar object" when scientists decided it was neither an asteroid or a comet; while comets can speed up in a process known as "outgassing", the shape lacked the cloud of dust that surrounds a melting comet.

The scientists also noted that light-sails with similar dimensions have originated on earth. "Technology the light sails can be used to transport cargo between planets or between the stars", the researchers note.

"Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that 'Oumuamua is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment", the scientists wrote.

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"Recent observational and theoretical studies imply that 'Oumuamua is not an active comet", the researchers said in a draft version of their study.

"Currently, there is an unexplained phenomena, namely, the excess acceleration of Oumuamua, which we show may be explained by the force of radiation pressure from the sun", co-author and Harvard astrophysicist Shmuel Bialy told AFP via email Tuesday.

Other mysteries in space have previously been thought of as signs of extraterrestrial life: a mysterious radio signal, repeating fast radio bursts and even a strangely flickering star, known as Tabby's Star.

"Bailer-Jones" paper on possible origin sites for 'Oumuamua was accepted by the Astrophysical Journal in September.

"A survey for lightsails as technosignatures [scientific evidence of past or present technology] in the solar system is warranted, irrespective of whether Oumuamua is one of them", the paper said.

You can think of a light sail as being like a kite, but instead of being pushed by air in our atmosphere, radiation from the sun propels it forward.

Some are not so sure the cigar-shaped 'Oumuamua is a solar sail, however.

The strangly shaped object is about half a mile long and is so unusual that Nasa said it had "never seen a natural object with such extreme proportions in the solar system before".


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