Author Topic: Alien or Driftrock...  (Read 1235 times)

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Offline aargee

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Alien or Driftrock...
« on: December 13, 2017, 11:00:14 pm »
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 06:16:25 am »
Well, we blew up that rock which was looking like it was going to hit us.. but now there's an even bigger rock approaching, and there's something sticking out of it that looks like a honkin' great gun.   :o
 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 06:45:07 am »

"Interstellar" Asteroid Raises Mysteries | Space News
(Picture totally artist making stuff up.)

I wish the estimate of its length to width was based on more than just some luminance fluctuations. Because if it's really 10 to 12 times longer than wide, that's really odd. Can't help imagining some ancient derelict spaceship, or part of one.
The 'typical asteroid' reflectance spectra doesn't exclude a derelict either, since it would have accumulated a coating of exactly that kind of dust.

Maybe in a hundred years we'll have the ability to catch up with and inspect it.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 06:46:39 am by TerraHertz »
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Offline brucehoult

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 06:49:03 am »
Everyone seems to be imagining this as a cylinder, but wouldn't the luminance data fit a disk just as well? If it's 10x the area seen flat on compared to edge on that might be only 3x4x1.

A lot of natural processes make flat plates or sheets. Especially if there's a gravitational field.
 

Offline vealmike

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 09:24:06 am »
10x longer than it is wide.
Travelling at 58,900mph.
Appears to be tumbling on it's axis.

Has to be be one of these:


(With apologies to anyone outside of the UK, who won't get the gag.)
 

Offline aargee

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2017, 09:38:16 am »
But we can all imagine what the gag is...  ;D
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline SparkyFX

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 10:07:08 am »
Decimal point and plural jokes... i think i got it.

@ 7:58 of the video: Yeah, i know these stuck pixels can give you a hard time editing them out, it didnĀ“t yet occur to me to call them interstellar objects. ;-) *scnr*

So... where is the welcome party to the new alien overlords?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 10:30:31 am by SparkyFX »
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Offline Kilo Tango

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 10:19:58 am »
a Voyager from a different galaxy ?

Ken
 

Offline cprobertson1

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 10:32:10 am »
I don't remember this cropping up in the regular news back in October - guess it wasn't awesome enough back then ;) - or I just missed it!

It's shape, while insofar a bit thinner than most, is not particularly unique in and of itself. As per the Asteroid Radio Research galleries, you can see that similarly shaped (though not as long) asteroids aren't particularly uncommon (though I particularly like the "binary asteroids" - that's just cool :P).

Likewise, it's average speed of 26.3 km/s (58 kilo-miles per hourjust to make the imperial and metric fanboys cringe) isn't that fast in the scheme of things - though it does have the fasted inbound velocity at 200AU compared to other Oort cloud objects.

A lot of the cranks out there seem to be under the impression that it's rotating along it's longest axis; except it's not - it's turmbling headlong and spinning on every axis. Even it's colour (again, described by the cranks as "red") is actually "very red" under the trans-neptunian (I love that term") spectra classifications - it's about the same colour as Sedna - it's not an uncommon colour for objects in the outer solar system.

The biggest scientific contention just now seems to be whether it is an asteroid or a comet (though "asteroid" seems to have won out, they've actually gone as far as to define a new category of classification ("I") being created, with the comet-cum-asteroid C/2017 U1 transforming into A/2017 U1 once it was classified as an asteroid - and is now classified as 1I/2017 U1; and that is the only really interesting reason why it's vaguely important.

PS - Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama" seems to have been the inspiration behind it's comparisons with "Rama" because of its interstellar/extrasolar origin.

Shortly afterwards, somebody in the press (who should have known better) described it as an "alien object" referencing it's extrasolar origin... of course, numerous cranks immediately equivocated with actual aliens - which the less reputable news sources were quite happy to repeat; which, amazingly, has worked its way back into the more reputable news sources. I find it of particular interest that SETI looked at it and shrugged their shoulders - while the cranks worldwide were emphasising how interested SETI were in it.

To summarise...

EDIT: Added a little extra info about the relative velocity
Clarification: "Not unusual" does not mean "not interesting" :P More of a "plenty of perfectly natural explanations" sort of story!

« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 10:38:18 am by cprobertson1 »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 10:51:52 am »
It does tickle the imagination that the speed is close to that of the Voyager probes. If there is no signal coming from it, that's actually what the Voyager probes would look like to any system it would encounter in the distant future. Obviously, those craft aren't 800 metres long.

I always wondered whether other intelligent life would be able to detect the Voyagers if they passed through their system. If a very obvious alien probe passed Earth just 200 years ago, it's unlikely we would have known, unless it landed and something popped out to say hi.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 11:21:29 am »
You see, this is exactly what people were warning about. If you go sending messages into space, "hello aliens, please be friends with us!" then you will get invaded by non-friendly aliens.

Now that their scout ship has confirmed our presence, they are assembling a vast invasion fleet. We only have 10,000 years before the main fleet arrives, run for the hills!
Bob
"All you said is just a bunch of opinions."
 

Offline cprobertson1

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2017, 11:35:45 am »
You see, this is exactly what people were warning about. If you go sending messages into space, "hello aliens, please be friends with us!" then you will get invaded by non-friendly aliens.

Now that their scout ship has confirmed our presence, they are assembling a vast invasion fleet. We only have 10,000 years before the main fleet arrives, run for the hills!

Don't worry! They reckon it took at least 600'000 years to get here - so we have at least that time to prepare :P

I think they said it may actually be at least 45-60 MYr (megayears) old - but estimates go as high as "several billion years" - I think it was hypothesized that it may be a fragment from a planet destroyed by tidal forces - which is pretty cool when you think about it :P

Let's hope it's not aliens though - the last alien fleet that successfully landed on earth was accidentally swallowed by a small dog (see which).
 
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Offline rt

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2017, 12:58:29 pm »
[Youtube link to The Thunderbolts Project Video]
"Interstellar" Asteroid Raises Mysteries | Space News
(Picture totally artist making stuff up.)

<off topic>
Ah the Electric Universe people are still around!  I first came across Electric Universe theories on the sci.astro newsgroup (a long time ago back when that was a thing!)  I gave up digging when it boiled down to a pitch that gravity and nuclear strong/weak forces are not the dominant forces in the universe but instead an increasingly convoluted set of electrical processes to explain everything from the luminosity of the sun to planetary craters to active galaxies. 

MSM and the Standard model peddlers have you all conned folks!

I'd love to see their explanation of the recent LIGO data in the electric universe scheme.

Anyway The Thunderbolts Project are pulling in over $2000/month on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/tboltsproject so I suppose everyone's got to make a living.
</off topic>

Back on topic.  As Terrahertz says the picture artist is making up a lot here.  It's important to remember when reading these reports that the initial lightcurve data is quite rough.  Ongoing follow up observations should tighten up some of the uncertainty.

Alien Origin:  The --orbit-- is hyperbolic, taking it out of the solar system.  By assumption it also arrived into the solar system on the same orbit (without any gravitational disturbance from Jupiter/Saturn/etc) and is therefore from another solar system elsewhere.

Elongated Shape: The --lightcurve-- (brightness plotted against time) shows a change by a factor approx 6 to 10 in brightness ["magnitude" is a logarithmic scale where 5magnitude difference is defined as a change of 100 in brightness so 1mag = ~2.512 change in brightness.]  The attached figure (from https://arxiv.org/pdf/1711.05687.pdf) shows a combination of data from several night's observations which have been overlaid to produce a plausible lightcurve.  If the body is made up of uniform material all over then the only way to explain this is with an elongated shape.  The aspect ratio of this shape has to correspond approximately with the change in brightness from minimum apparent area to maximum apparent area.  We don't know if it's a cigar or a disk shape just that the long:short axis ratio has to be approx 5-10.

Right now, that's most of what is known. 

Portholes, cockpits, radio beacons or photon torpedos are not yet evident in the data presented.

Always go back to source data with these things.  You'd insist on it for Batteriser!

rt
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 01:10:21 pm by rt »
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Offline brucehoult

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2017, 04:57:08 pm »
Likewise, it's average speed of 26.3 km/s (58 kilo-miles per hourjust to make the imperial and metric fanboys cringe) isn't that fast in the scheme of things - though it does have the fasted inbound velocity at 200AU compared to other Oort cloud objects.

It seems to have not been going anywhere particularly fast with respect to our Galaxy, but has more or less been run down by our Sun as it tootles along in its galactic orbit.

It's going somewhere now! Got a pretty good slingshot.
 

Offline apelly

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 06:39:50 pm »
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline SparkyFX

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2017, 07:42:20 pm »
Check this animation out for a representation on what moves in which reference:
https://youtu.be/IJhgZBn-LHg?t=16m52s

Now, that interstellar object comes from which direction?
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Offline ajb

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Re: Alien or Driftrock...
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2017, 07:53:31 pm »
If it winds up being captured by Saturn, nobody let any Martian scientists near it.


(ref)
 


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