(WFLA/CNN) – A mysterious object seen tumbling past the sun may have been part of an alien spacecraft sent to spy on us, according to researchers.
Late last year, a collection of telescopes in Hawaii spotted the “Oumauma asteroid” flying through the solar system at speeds of 196,000 miles per hour.
“‘Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization,” researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics wrote in a paper, which has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Their theory is based on the object’s unexpected boost in speed as it traveled through the solar system.
“Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment,” the paper’s authors continued.
The asteroid is the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere.