A light sail is “a small spacecraft, propelled solely by sunlight.”
Interestingly enough, there has also been some speculation that based on its shape, ‘Oumuamua might actually be an interstellar spacecraft (Breakthrough Listen even monitored it for signs of radio signals!). A new study by a pair of astronomers from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has taken it a step further, suggesting that ‘Oumuamua may actually be a light sail of extra-terrestrial origin.
The study – “Could Solar Radiation Pressure Explain “Oumuamua’s Peculiar Acceleration?,” which recently appeared online – was conducted by Shmuel Bialy and Prof. Abraham Loeb. Whereas Bialy is a postdoctoral researcher at the CfA’s Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC), Prof. Loeb is the director of the ITC, the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University, and the head chair of the Breakthrough Starshot Advisory Committee.
Matt Williams, “Could ‘Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail?” at Universe Today
It’s amazing what’s taken seriously, and isn’t, these days. We’ll watch the file.
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See also: SETI reacts to the new study that says not to wait up for extraterrestrials