No Signals Detected From Interstellar Visitor

'This is a fishing expedition,' researchers say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2017 8:45 AM CST
No Signals Detected From Interstellar Visitor
The Pan-STARRS1 Observatory on Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii first detected the object in October.   (Rob Ratkowski/University of Hawaii via AP)

'Oumuamua is Hawaiian for "messenger from afar"—but the only message researchers are getting from our first known visitor from another solar system so far is "I am an inanimate rock." The Breakthrough Listen project says its first search for artificial signals emanating from the strange object detected no signs of alien technology, but it still has plenty of data to analyze from the first block of observations by the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia and there are three more to go, reports. 'Oumuamua, which has been hurtling through our solar system for months, is believed to be an asteroid, though its elongated cigar shape is odd enough for researchers to say there is a small chance it could be an alien spacecraft.

A search for signals that scientists at California's SETI Institute carried out using the Allen Telescope Array also came up empty, but researchers aren't ruling anything out yet. "This is a fishing expedition," says project adviser Avi Loeb, a Harvard professor of astronomy, per the Guardian. "We are most likely not to find anything, but it is worth checking steadily our fishing hooks. We will keep searching for artificial signals from ‘Oumuamua or any other interstellar object that will be discovered in the future." (More Oumuamua stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.