Cigar-shaped spaceship Oumuamua

Artist’s concept of interstellar asteroid 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) as it passed through the solar system after its discovery in October 2017. The aspect ratio of up to 10:1 is unlike that of any object seen in our own solar system.

Credits: European Southern Observatory/M. Kornmesser

Summary: 100 metres long and 10 wide, rocky with a red hue.

Drifting through the Milky Way but from out of our Solar System for hundreds of millions of years, unless it is the result of a collision or eruption, which sent it zooming away in a long trajectory only to return.

NASA is studying this object. Telescopes are able to detect its hue and that it rotates on its axis every 7.2 hours thus changing its brightness. No other object has been observed coming from interstellar space and none with an elongation longer than 3 times its radius.

All things being equal, bodies in space have enough gravity to force a roughly spherical shape over millions of years. However, it’s possible for a shard or splinter from a larger object to look like this, maybe after a collision. NASA says: “Oumuamua is dense, comprised of rock and possibly metals, has no water or ice, and that its surface was reddened due to the effects of irradiation from cosmic rays over hundreds of millions of years.“

It’s travelling about 87,000 mph as it goes farther from Earth and will pass Saturn at an angle of 20 degrees to the ecliptic plane in 2019. If we want to board and investigate it we’ll have to hurry!

When it slingshot around the sun it was travelling at 197,000 mph but the sun’s gravity and drag is slowing it down.

Interestingly when the trajectory calculations were done after it was spotted in October 2017, it appeared to come from the direction of Vega, just like the aliens in the ARIA Trilogy.

Astronomers think a strange-shaped object like this might pass through our solar system once a year but too faint for us to detect them. The Pan-STARRS telescopes are designed to spot such objects so more should be spotted.

Reference to read more via NASA https://www.nasa.gov/feature/solar-system-s-first-interstellar-visitor-dazzles-scientists

Joseph Greene wrote a series of young people’s stories based on aliens with spaceships disguised as asteroids 1959-52

Greg Bear’s Eon has a hollowed out asteroid.

Captive Universe is a story by Harry Harrison where an asteroid is hollowed out.

Freelancer is a game where asteroids are used as space vehicles.

Of course it still ‘might be’ a spaceship, perhaps like the alien tube in Arthur C Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama.

Now, here’s my artistic impression of Oumuamua. Just add a few rocks and a red colour to throw off the experts 😉

 

 

 

 

Nelder News

In November I read a short story, VIEW FROM at the Chester Literary Festival to promote our Chester Writers’ Anthology 2017.  You can read my short surreal story for free here

 

An actress read an amusing extract from my ARIA: Left Luggage novel to camera here   

FICFUN

I can recommend this new venture. It is a web-based writing and showcasing site that has already run one successful competition. I am the next honorary judge for the suspense category. If you are hard at work with #NaNoWriMo or just finishing off a novel or long story of at least 10k words and want to know what to do with it, why not enter it for

http://www.ficfun.com/act/fictioncontest

Free to enter, huge prizes

worth a look

tweets @FicFun

XAGHRA’S REVENGE  released this summer. Pirates abducted 5000 people off the tiny Mediterranean island near Malta in 1551. Nearly 500yrs passed until their spirits enacted revenge with my authorial help. http://myBook.to/Xaghra 

I am to do a signing of Xaghra’s Revenge at the Preluna Hotel, Sliema in April 2018. I stayed at this hotel when I did the research and even wrote some chapters there.

 

Run, hide! alien apocalypse.
Infectious amnesia. Free on KindleUnlimited or
99 pence/cents ARIA smarturl.it/1fexhs

My other books can be found on the Amazon Author page http://author.to/Amazonauthorpage

Or if you fancy a children’s picture book about Timmy the Tornado – a kind of social story to help children grow up and be kind. ebook 99 pence  https://payhip.com/b/2aj3

 

 

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