Is There Anybody Out There?

There are no aliens on an interstellar rock flying around the solar system. This interstellar rock, called Oumuamua, is a very unusual cigar shape and caused a lot of speculation. Scientists from Harvard University thought it might be an artificial spaceship, because it accelerated as it was leaving the solar system. 

A new paper in Nature Astronomy has analysed Oumuamua and provided reasons for why it is such a weird shape and passed through our solar system. Scientists now think that it is the start of a new planet being formed!

This story is related to the Cosmology section in the Physics A Level course.

For more on this story, check out this article. You can find the published paper here.

An artist's impression of Oumuamua. [EPA].
An artist’s impression of Oumuamua. [EPA]