Author Topic: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper? ('Oumuamua)  (Read 62528 times)

Online ChrisWilson68

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #240 on: 11/24/2017 07:36 PM »
It's considerably easier to distinguish human-made artificial from natural objects than it is to distinguish alien-made artificial from natural objects, because we know exactly how we made the artificial objects we have launched.
The point of the J002E3 reference isn't that we could recognize all artificial objects spectroscopically, it's that "things that look like asteroids" are a narrow subset of possible compositions, and we have the capability to recognize things that are wildly different.

Even if we had never built a Saturn V, we would have recognized J002E3 as weird. We certainly shouldn't assume that aliens would use titanium dioxide paint (though if they need white, it's a pretty good choice...) but unless deliberate camouflage is involved, using something that was a dead ringer for natural solar system objects would be quite a coincidence.

I think "dead ringer for natural solar system objects" is overstating the case.

It's the equivalent of noticing that something floating on a river in the distance is green, then saying since lots of natural things in a forest are green, the floating object is a dead ringer for natural forest objects.  Yeah, it's consistent with natural forest objects, but "dead ringer" implies a much more tightly-constrained match than we have with just being green.

Online meekGee

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #241 on: 11/25/2017 06:04 AM »
It's considerably easier to distinguish human-made artificial from natural objects than it is to distinguish alien-made artificial from natural objects, because we know exactly how we made the artificial objects we have launched.
The point of the J002E3 reference isn't that we could recognize all artificial objects spectroscopically, it's that "things that look like asteroids" are a narrow subset of possible compositions, and we have the capability to recognize things that are wildly different.

Even if we had never built a Saturn V, we would have recognized J002E3 as weird. We certainly shouldn't assume that aliens would use titanium dioxide paint (though if they need white, it's a pretty good choice...) but unless deliberate camouflage is involved, using something that was a dead ringer for natural solar system objects would be quite a coincidence.

I think "dead ringer for natural solar system objects" is overstating the case.

It's the equivalent of noticing that something floating on a river in the distance is green, then saying since lots of natural things in a forest are green, the floating object is a dead ringer for natural forest objects.  Yeah, it's consistent with natural forest objects, but "dead ringer" implies a much more tightly-constrained match than we have with just being green.

Here's a different angle.

We've just gained the ability to detect and observe interstellar objects.  In a few years, we'll be able to observe a lot more.

There are supposed to be a large number of interstellar objects.

How did the aliens know, millions of years in advance, to a resolution of just a few years, when humanity will achieve this ability?

(Unless of course there alien objects scouting our solar system every year or two, for the last few million years, and said objects do not want to get captured and stay around)
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Online nacnud

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #242 on: 11/25/2017 09:01 AM »
How did the aliens know, millions of years in advance, to a resolution of just a few years, when humanity will achieve this ability?

Why do you always find the thing you are looking for in the last place you look?


Online meekGee

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #243 on: 11/25/2017 12:12 PM »
How did the aliens know, millions of years in advance, to a resolution of just a few years, when humanity will achieve this ability?

Why do you always find the thing you are looking for in the last place you look?
In the face of this, I submit.

Well played.
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Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #244 on: 11/25/2017 12:26 PM »
For the sake of conversation, perhaps this could be a probe or spaceship, but just long dead - tumbling through the void for eons on end with nothing guiding it, nothing emitting from it - a dead hulk. Lord knows we’ve tossed our own (future) space junk into interstellar space...
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Online meekGee

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #245 on: 11/25/2017 05:16 PM »
For the sake of conversation, perhaps this could be a probe or spaceship, but just long dead - tumbling through the void for eons on end with nothing guiding it, nothing emitting from it - a dead hulk. Lord knows we’ve tossed our own (future) space junk into interstellar space...
A derelict would be so cool...   However that idea suffers from the same probability problem - what are the odds that it would tumble in just in the exact moment in time that humanity gained the instruments to detect such an object?
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Offline hop

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #246 on: 11/25/2017 07:44 PM »
A derelict would be so cool...   However that idea suffers from the same probability problem - what are the odds that it would tumble in just in the exact moment in time that humanity gained the instruments to detect such an object?
Another way to look at it: We know that the average star system in the galaxy should have ejected billions of natural objects. We don't know how many artificial objects the average system produces, but it seems safe to assume it's a significantly lower number. Our own system is estimated to have lost ~ Earth masses worth of natural objects, and has only sent a handful of artificial ones.

For chance encounters with randomly drifting stuff, the odds should overwhelmingly favor rocks.

Online KelvinZero

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #247 on: 11/25/2017 11:22 PM »
A derelict would be so cool...   However that idea suffers from the same probability problem - what are the odds that it would tumble in just in the exact moment in time that humanity gained the instruments to detect such an object?
Another way to look at it: We know that the average star system in the galaxy should have ejected billions of natural objects. We don't know how many artificial objects the average system produces, but it seems safe to assume it's a significantly lower number. Our own system is estimated to have lost ~ Earth masses worth of natural objects, and has only sent a handful of artificial ones.

For chance encounters with randomly drifting stuff, the odds should overwhelmingly favor rocks.
I don't believe the alien hypothesis at all.. but just to have some fun with this:

If this thing were alien technology then yes, that would imply that it wasn't the first, that hundreds of alien objects tumble though our solar system every year and have been doing so for a billion years. Statistically, it would be >50% of every interstellar object. This race would totally dominate the space between stars in our galaxy, so maybe it is 100%

I picture it more like cells in an organism. They give not the slightest damn about us. They may not even care or think about suns. After all, we don't often think about the molten core beneath our feet.

Watch out, because some of the cells are probably antibodies. Fermi paradox resolved.

Online meekGee

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #248 on: 11/25/2017 11:57 PM »
A derelict would be so cool...   However that idea suffers from the same probability problem - what are the odds that it would tumble in just in the exact moment in time that humanity gained the instruments to detect such an object?
Another way to look at it: We know that the average star system in the galaxy should have ejected billions of natural objects. We don't know how many artificial objects the average system produces, but it seems safe to assume it's a significantly lower number. Our own system is estimated to have lost ~ Earth masses worth of natural objects, and has only sent a handful of artificial ones.

For chance encounters with randomly drifting stuff, the odds should overwhelmingly favor rocks.
I don't believe the alien hypothesis at all.. but just to have some fun with this:

If this thing were alien technology then yes, that would imply that it wasn't the first, that hundreds of alien objects tumble though our solar system every year and have been doing so for a billion years. Statistically, it would be >50% of every interstellar object. This race would totally dominate the space between stars in our galaxy, so maybe it is 100%

I picture it more like cells in an organism. They give not the slightest damn about us. They may not even care or think about suns. After all, we don't often think about the molten core beneath our feet.

Watch out, because some of the cells are probably antibodies. Fermi paradox resolved.

Maybe all those loose rocks constitute a single "mega-system", and our our solar system is actually the odd piece of debris drifting through theirs...

Mind...  blown.
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Offline Bob Shaw

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #249 on: 11/26/2017 12:26 AM »
Go and read some of Ken McLeod's SF novels - he has conscious and highly logical cryogenic comets wandering around, and they disdain the irrational planetary intelligences...

Online meekGee

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #250 on: 11/26/2017 01:12 AM »
Go and read some of Ken McLeod's SF novels - he has conscious and highly logical cryogenic comets wandering around, and they disdain the irrational planetary intelligences...
Read "Spin" a while ago...

We should get back on topic b4 an interplanetary mod swings by.
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Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #251 on: 11/26/2017 02:34 AM »
A derelict would be so cool...   However that idea suffers from the same probability problem - what are the odds that it would tumble in just in the exact moment in time that humanity gained the instruments to detect such an object?
Another way to look at it: We know that the average star system in the galaxy should have ejected billions of natural objects. We don't know how many artificial objects the average system produces, but it seems safe to assume it's a significantly lower number. Our own system is estimated to have lost ~ Earth masses worth of natural objects, and has only sent a handful of artificial ones.

For chance encounters with randomly drifting stuff, the odds should overwhelmingly favor rocks.
I don't believe the alien hypothesis at all.. but just to have some fun with this:

If this thing were alien technology then yes, that would imply that it wasn't the first, that hundreds of alien objects tumble though our solar system every year and have been doing so for a billion years. Statistically, it would be >50% of every interstellar object. This race would totally dominate the space between stars in our galaxy, so maybe it is 100%

I picture it more like cells in an organism. They give not the slightest damn about us. They may not even care or think about suns. After all, we don't often think about the molten core beneath our feet.

Watch out, because some of the cells are probably antibodies. Fermi paradox resolved.
Have you read about the Carter Catastrophe? And related to that, the Copernican principal? It  doesn’t require millions of such encounters, it just requires the first...
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #252 on: 11/26/2017 03:44 AM »
A derelict would be so cool...   However that idea suffers from the same probability problem - what are the odds that it would tumble in just in the exact moment in time that humanity gained the instruments to detect such an object?
Another way to look at it: We know that the average star system in the galaxy should have ejected billions of natural objects. We don't know how many artificial objects the average system produces, but it seems safe to assume it's a significantly lower number. Our own system is estimated to have lost ~ Earth masses worth of natural objects, and has only sent a handful of artificial ones.

For chance encounters with randomly drifting stuff, the odds should overwhelmingly favor rocks.
I don't believe the alien hypothesis at all.. but just to have some fun with this:

If this thing were alien technology then yes, that would imply that it wasn't the first, that hundreds of alien objects tumble though our solar system every year and have been doing so for a billion years. Statistically, it would be >50% of every interstellar object. This race would totally dominate the space between stars in our galaxy, so maybe it is 100%

I picture it more like cells in an organism. They give not the slightest damn about us. They may not even care or think about suns. After all, we don't often think about the molten core beneath our feet.

Watch out, because some of the cells are probably antibodies. Fermi paradox resolved.
Have you read about the Carter Catastrophe? And related to that, the Copernican principal? It  doesn’t require millions of such encounters, it just requires the first...

Just looked it up...  I dunno...

The very assumption that births are random, or even that your position in the birth-line is random, is absurd. 

The process of the life of a civilization is not memoryless sequence of random events... it's all inter-dependent.  The odds of civilization enduring beyond N years is simply not a function of its past history.  It has to do with when they develop which technology, and when a GRB occurs in our galaxy, and one-off political events and wars and diseases and what not... 

All those considerations are lost in Carter's line of reasoning, like tears in rain.

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Online meekGee

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #253 on: 11/26/2017 04:52 AM »


For the sake of conversation, perhaps this could be a probe or spaceship, but just long dead - tumbling through the void for eons on end with nothing guiding it, nothing emitting from it - a dead hulk. Lord knows we’ve tossed our own (future) space junk into interstellar space...
I would just suppose this is just a meaningless rock.

But ok. If one were to ascribe a meaningful purpose to it... it looks like the object just did a slingshot maneuver for a course correction. 

With this assumption, the top questions I'd have:
1) Is the object now going faster relative to the galactic coordinate system?  (obviously the relative speed inbound/outbound with the Sun is hyperbolic but about the same)
2) Maybe there is trace evidence of a powerful solar thermal based guidance system being used while it arrived at perihelion? (maybe it didn't originate from where we assume it did).
3) Does this object intersect with a known star system in 1000 or more years?
4) Is the object similar to any other observed objects known, or is it an intergalactic spacecraft as many ancient astronaut theorists believe?

Question #3 is definitely interesting!  :)

Question #1 less so, since a gravity assist can be used to speed up, slow down, or just steer.
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Offline hop

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #254 on: 11/26/2017 08:11 PM »
3) Does this object intersect with a known star system in 1000 or more years?
Certainly not on few thousand year timescales, since it couldn't even reach the nearest stars in that time. I think people have looked and found no close encounters in the foreseeable future, but the published papers about the trajectory all focus on the past.

Offline Mongo62

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #255 on: 11/27/2017 01:03 AM »
`Oumuamua as a messenger from the Local Association

With a hyperbolic trajectory around the Sun, `Oumuamua is the first confirmed interstellar object. However, its origin is poorly known. By simulating the orbits of 0.23 million local stars, we find 109 encounters with periastron less than 5 pc. `Oumuamua's low peculiar velocity is suggestive of its origin from a young stellar association with similar velocity. In particular, we find that `Oumuamua would have had slow encounters with at least five young stars belonging to the Local Association thus suggesting these as plausible sites for formation and ejection. In addition to an extremely elongated shape, the available observational data for `Oumuamua indicates a red colour suggestive of a potentially organic-rich and activity-free surface. These characteristics seem consistent with formation through energetic collisions between planets and debris objects in the middle part of a young stellar system. We estimate an abundance of about 6.0×10^−3 au^−3 for such interstellar objects with mean diameter larger than 100 m and find that it is likely that most of them will be ejected into the Galactic halo. Our Bayesian analysis of the available light curves indicates a rotation period of 6.96+1.45−0.39 h which is consistent with the estimation by Meech et al. 2017 and shorter than other literature. The codes and results are available on GitHub.

Offline sanman

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #256 on: 11/27/2017 04:03 AM »
A derelict would be so cool...   However that idea suffers from the same probability problem - what are the odds that it would tumble in just in the exact moment in time that humanity gained the instruments to detect such an object?
Another way to look at it: We know that the average star system in the galaxy should have ejected billions of natural objects. We don't know how many artificial objects the average system produces, but it seems safe to assume it's a significantly lower number. Our own system is estimated to have lost ~ Earth masses worth of natural objects, and has only sent a handful of artificial ones.

For chance encounters with randomly drifting stuff, the odds should overwhelmingly favor rocks.
I don't believe the alien hypothesis at all.. but just to have some fun with this:

If this thing were alien technology then yes, that would imply that it wasn't the first, that hundreds of alien objects tumble though our solar system every year and have been doing so for a billion years. Statistically, it would be >50% of every interstellar object. This race would totally dominate the space between stars in our galaxy, so maybe it is 100%

I picture it more like cells in an organism. They give not the slightest damn about us. They may not even care or think about suns. After all, we don't often think about the molten core beneath our feet.

Watch out, because some of the cells are probably antibodies. Fermi paradox resolved.

Just because one object looks like a UFO, doesn't mean all objects have to be UFOs.

But I've read sci-fi stories where an alien menace spreads across the galaxy like a virus - consuming some planet or even a star to replicate itself, and then bursting forth to spread to other star systems - like a virus does.

So if the universe is billions of years old, perhaps it's possible that some entity - maybe a machine swarm, if you will - could have evolved/emerged to spread that way.

Online meekGee

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #257 on: 11/27/2017 04:15 AM »
A derelict would be so cool...   However that idea suffers from the same probability problem - what are the odds that it would tumble in just in the exact moment in time that humanity gained the instruments to detect such an object?
Another way to look at it: We know that the average star system in the galaxy should have ejected billions of natural objects. We don't know how many artificial objects the average system produces, but it seems safe to assume it's a significantly lower number. Our own system is estimated to have lost ~ Earth masses worth of natural objects, and has only sent a handful of artificial ones.

For chance encounters with randomly drifting stuff, the odds should overwhelmingly favor rocks.
I don't believe the alien hypothesis at all.. but just to have some fun with this:

If this thing were alien technology then yes, that would imply that it wasn't the first, that hundreds of alien objects tumble though our solar system every year and have been doing so for a billion years. Statistically, it would be >50% of every interstellar object. This race would totally dominate the space between stars in our galaxy, so maybe it is 100%

I picture it more like cells in an organism. They give not the slightest damn about us. They may not even care or think about suns. After all, we don't often think about the molten core beneath our feet.

Watch out, because some of the cells are probably antibodies. Fermi paradox resolved.

Just because one object looks like a UFO, doesn't mean all objects have to be UFOs.

But I've read sci-fi stories where an alien menace spreads across the galaxy like a virus - consuming some planet or even a star to replicate itself, and then bursting forth to spread to other star systems - like a virus does.

So if the universe is billions of years old, perhaps it's possible that some entity - maybe a machine swarm, if you will - could have evolved/emerged to spread that way.
Yup.  The only aliens hypothesis that gets around the "serendipity objection" is the supposition that we have been getting such visitors continuously, though of course the timespans involved are still incredibly long.

Frankly I'm amazed this object hasn't generated nearly a similar amount of paranoia as "planet X" did...
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Offline sanman

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #258 on: 11/27/2017 04:44 AM »
Yup.  The only aliens hypothesis that gets around the "serendipity objection" is the supposition that we have been getting such visitors continuously, though of course the timespans involved are still incredibly long.

Frankly I'm amazed this object hasn't generated nearly a similar amount of paranoia as "planet X" did...

Well, at least we now know that comets aren't the only possibility for Pan-Spermia. It could be asteroids too.

I'm just wondering if most interstellar travelers have the same odd shape as this one, or if it was just mere happenstance that our first observed interstellar visitor happened to have this elongated type of shape.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 05:54 PM by sanman »

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Re: Hyperbolic Hyperbole or Interstellar Interloper?
« Reply #259 on: 11/27/2017 04:48 AM »
Yup.  The only aliens hypothesis that gets around the "serendipity objection" is the supposition that we have been getting such visitors continuously, though of course the timespans involved are still incredibly long.

Frankly I'm amazed this object hasn't generated nearly a similar amount of paranoia as "planet X" did...

Well, at least we now know that comets aren't the only possibiity for Pan-Spermia. It could be asteroids too.

I'm just wondering if most interstellar travelers have the same odd shape as this one, or if it was just mere happenstance that our first observed interstellar visitor happened to have this elongated type of shape.
Looking forward to finding out in the coming years
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