Artistic vision of the interstellar Oumuamua object
For the first time, a visitor from another star system appeared on our territory. But what is it? Asteroid, comet ... or alien technology? Representatives of the SETI Institute tried to find an answer to this question with the help of the Allen Antenna Array, which followed Oumuamua to a distance of 170 million miles.
The purpose of such surveillance was to catch the artificial signals of the radio transmission, which upon detection could prove that we are not just a stone, thrown out of another system by gravitational influence. Scientists were looking for a signal that hints at the technological artificial nature of the object. But a careful and sensitive search did not reveal any hint that this is alien technology. However, it was possible to obtain some important data on the likely composition.
Oumuamua became the object of controversy and speculation immediately after its discovery in October 2017. Many thought that the cosmic body could be an interstellar ship or an alien invader. It was hinted at by a bizarre elongated shape and the absence of a coma, like a comet. Moreover, a group of researchers from Harvard claimed to have caught a strange and unexpected acceleration when approaching the Sun. The observations were carried out from November 23 to December 5, 2017 using the Allen Antenna array at frequencies of 1-10 GHz and frequency resolution of 100 kHz. No signals were recorded, but for the radio spectrum the detection threshold is up to 10 watts.
Even if this is not an alien spacecraft, the object is still of interest to scientists, since this is the first guest from another star system. Researchers believe that such visitors are not at all uncommon, we just recently received the necessary technology for detection. It is planned to develop more powerful devices and carefully listen to the sky. Perhaps one day we will not stumble upon a silent rock, but an alien probe.