First Interstellar Asteroid Spotted

jedidia

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Still, it would be very fascinating to ponder, if an alien spaceship wreck just drifted through our solar system... how could we tell it is one?
We can't without taking a closer look, really. So to be sure that it isn't an alien spacecraft, we would have needed to throw some money at it. Since nobody was willing to do that, Okhams razor is really all that's left.
And it heavily favors the not-alien-spaceship assumption, unless for some reason you assume that alien spaceship wrecks are ridiculously common in the galaxy :lol:
 

Urwumpe

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We can't without taking a closer look, really. So to be sure that it isn't an alien spacecraft, we would have needed to throw some money at it. Since nobody was willing to do that, Okhams razor is really all that's left.
And it heavily favors the not-alien-spaceship assumption, unless for some reason you assume that alien spaceship wrecks are ridiculously common in the galaxy :lol:

Well, that is the question: How could we be "more sure" without visiting it? What kind of observations could be able to tell, that it has non-natural properties?


Could special radar observations do that? It would require a very long observation peroid, longer than what the Arecibo antenna for example could do. We would need a Arecibo in space for that... :hmm:
 

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Well, with that shape it probably isn't a Borg Cube.... :shifty:
 

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How could we be "more sure" without visiting it?
Can't we point a laser at it? To check whether we can burn a little hole in it to allow gasses to evaporate and cause a change in it's motion? Then it's most likely an asteroid.

If it doesn't burn easily and turns around headed for earth, then it's an alien spaceship.

There was an article in the news yesterday about a MIT student who proposes to attract aliens using a 1-2 megawatt laser and a 30- 45 meter telescope. That laser beam would be visible at a distance of 20.000 lightyears. That makes me wonder if we could use a laser at a much shorter distance to burn a little hole in an asteroid.

https://news.mit.edu/2018/laser-attract-alien-astronomers-study-1105
 

jedidia

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Can't we point a laser at it? To check whether we can burn a little hole in it to allow gasses to evaporate and cause a change in it's motion? Then it's most likely an asteroid.
I didn't do the math, but considering the distance I would assume we'd need one hell of a laser to produce an evaporation large enough to measure from here...

If it doesn't burn easily and turns around headed for earth, then it's an alien spaceship.
Under those circumstances, I would *not* consider that a positive outcome! :rofl:
 
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Urwumpe

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I am pretty sure - even with the ELT mirror, the laser spot on the "target" would have multiple square meters of surface on a target about one AU away.
 

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12 September 2019
Astronomers have spotted an object that looks likely to be a very rare visitor from outside our Solar System. If confirmed, this unusual body would be only the second interstellar object ever detected passing through our neighbourhood.
Like the fascinating cigar-shaped ʻOumuamua, which flew by in 2017, this bright object is also a comet, yet it cuts a very different shape in the sky.
The new object, dubbed C/2019 Q4, was first detected on 30 August by Gennady Borisov from the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Safety/Interstellar_2.0

That'll be Rama II.
 

Notebook

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Astronomers are gathering measurements on a presumed interstellar comet, providing clues about its chemical composition.
The object, C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), is only the second interstellar object ever identified, after 'Oumuamua, which was spotted in 2017.
Telescopes across the world are being trained on the object.
Early results suggest its make-up might not differ that much from comets in our cosmic neighbourhood.
One expert told the BBC that the object was about to become one of the most famous comets in history.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49719696
 

Kyle

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C/2019 Q4 must be huge compared to the previous interstellar object to be spotted 3 AU out. Size estimates range from 2-16km, compared to 'Oumuamua's <1km size.
 

DaveS

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C/2019 Q4 must be huge compared to the previous interstellar object to be spotted 3 AU out. Size estimates range from 2-16km, compared to 'Oumuamua's <1km size.
That's nothing. Comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) had a size estimate of approx 60 km (±20 km). Comet Halley (1p Halley) is 15x8 km. C/1995 O1's distance when it was discovered was at 7.2 AU.
 

Notebook

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The first known comet to visit us from another star system has an unusual make-up, according to new research.
The interstellar comet 2I/Borisov was detected in our Solar System last year.
This mysterious visitor from the depths of space has provided astronomers with an unprecedented opportunity to compare it to comets that formed around the Sun.
New data suggests it contains large amounts of carbon monoxide - a possible clue to where it was "born".
The findings appear in two separate scientific papers published by Nature
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52353671
 
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