Here is an amazing and insightful article written by Avi Loeb today about the challenges he’s facing trying to study Oumuamua with the Galileo Project.
Other great quotes from the article:
I see the inconsistency with past knowledge as an opportunity to learn something new.
An analogy with crows attacking an eagle:
As some colleagues push back, I adopt the attitude of eagles who do not fight the crows pecking on their necks but instead rise to greater heights where the oxygen level is so low that the crows cannot survive and drop off their backs. For me, the greatest heights are those of science properly-done, namely seeking the detailed analysis of more than 700 spherules collected by the expedition team I led to IM1’s crash site. The results from the analysis of their materials will be reported in a future paper to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. At the heights of the scientific methodology, the “crows” will hopefully drop off my back.
Those who pretend to know the answer without seeking evidence or those who claim that the evidence must be wrong because it does not conform to their prejudice, are not real scientists.
Onto the topic, Avi Loeb explains why this meteor is exciting:
However, it was not my claim but rather that of the US Space Command that the speed of IM1 was high enough to make it interstellar in origin at the 99.999% confidence. I simply used known physics to deduce that their data implies a speed faster than 95% of all stars in the vicinity of the Sun relative to the Local standard of Rest of the Milky Way, and moreover that this object must have material strength larger than all 272 space rocks in the CNEOS catalog of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. That this makes some astronomers unhappy is a subject for discussion with their therapists.
we have to respect data verified by the US Space Command which receives more funding than NASA to watch out for ballistic missiles and which used satellites to record IM1’s fireball. Thanks to their data we have an opportunity to learn something new.”