Have Attempts to Scan Interstellar Asteroid 'Oumuamua Awoken Aliens Inside?
The recent arrival and subesequent departure of our solar system's first known visitor from outside the sun's own creative sphere has given scientists a lot to talk about.
Currently, experts are debating whether the extraterrestrial object is a comet or an asteroid, based on its trajectory, as well as its reaction (or lack thereof) to flying close to the sun.
According to one commentator, though, these efforts to identify and catalogue 'Oumuamua may end up causing more harm than good.
Nick Pope, former specialist with the UK Military of Defense, warns that in scanning the visiting rock, we may have awoken some kind of ancient life forms that dwell within what some are already speculating is a spaceship in disguise.
"Simply put, any alien ship searching for life may go into a dormant mode until it gets close to an inhabited planet."
Speaking with UK supermarket tabloid The Sun, Pope goes on to explain how he believes that an alien race might design a probe by strapping sensors to an existing asteroid and then hurling it out into space. According to Pope, this is a genuine possibility that experts are taking very seriously, although he fails to elaborate on which actual experts he's spoken to.
It's worth pointing out that in the grand scheme of things, The Sun newspaper does not exactly have a high reputation within the UK press. The tabloid is known primarily for featuring photos of topless women on its inside page, and it's safe to say that the paper isn't exactly The Guardian when it comes to original research.
Pope himself isn't exactly an expert in extra-terrestrial research, being best known as a television personality—albeit not a particularly famous one. Pope is generally good for a quote that can feed a scary quote about an ancient alien race, but not exactly a reliable source of accurate predictions about a floating cigar-shaped rock in space.
As unlikely as it is that 'Oumuamua is any kind of alien transport, what is interesting is that the rock does potentially contain biological matter that could one day prove to be influential in creating the spark of life.
A new theory about the formation of life on our planet suggests that fertile material which allowed our very first ancestors to thrive was created as an asteroid was exposed to cosmic rays in space, essentially creating the building blocks for organic life that then crashed down onto our planet. It could be that 'Oumuamua contains similar cosmic flotsam, and that if, one day, it crashes onto a suitable planet, it could help to create single-celled organisms to begin populating that distant world.
While we're probably not looking at an artifact from an ancient alien race when we observe 'Oumuamua, there's a possibility, however slim, that we're glimpsing the beginning of a new alien race that could form in thousands of years from now when the asteroid finds a home on the surface of a distant world.