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1991 VG

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So my eldest, the physics engineer who has an endearing fascination with all things comsic, sends me a note yesterday and asked me to Google 1991 VG. Oh, this is an interesting rabbit hole...

Wiki Article

NASA JPL Orbit Diagram (requires JAVA)

An interesting article from a crazy website

The astronomer was Duncan Steel, then associated with the University of Adelaide in Australia, and today with the University of Salford in the United Kingdom. His article, “SETA and 1991 VG” (SETA referring to “Search for ExtraTerrestrial Artifacts”), appeared in The Observatory, a recognized science journal published in the UK.

In the article, Steel dared to suggest what other astronomers had no doubt considered but were too guarded to openly discuss: that 1991 VG might not just be artificial, but might, in fact, be a probe of extraterrestrial origin!

What do you think?

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What do you think?

:ph34r: I don't know... what do you think, Mulder?

-k

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Neat.

There are lots of things out in space we have no clue of. Our own Voyager probes are just now exiting our solar system into the vast beyond. Where they are going? We don't know!

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So my eldest, the physics engineer who has an endearing fascination with all things comsic, sends me a note yesterday and asked me to Google 1991 VG. Oh, this is an interesting rabbit hole...

What do you think?

Conservatively or liberally?

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So my eldest, the physics engineer who has an endearing fascination with all things comsic, sends me a note yesterday and asked me to Google 1991 VG. Oh, this is an interesting rabbit hole...

Wiki Article

NASA JPL Orbit Diagram (requires JAVA)

An interesting article from a crazy website

What do you think?

The variations in brightness, while uncommon for natural asteroids, can indeed happen. Natural asteroids can have noticeably different reflectivity on one side than another due to non-uniformity in their composition. Also, their methodology for ruling it out as a piece of manmade junk would have to be independently reviewed by a reputable organization before I'd agree with it. It is not an easy task to back-extrapolate from a few data points an orbit accurately enough to be able to compare that to all the possibilities of all the pieces of debris from all the thousands of space launches we've had.

Lastly, it seems unlikely to be an alien interstellar probe based on its behavior. If the probe's objective of study was the solar system as a whole, then it doesn't make sense that it is in a circular heliocentric orbit at almost the exact same radius as the Earth. It would want to be in an elliptical orbit that would let it study all the planets up close. And if it's objective was to study just the Earth, then it would have been placed into geocentric orbit rather than heliocentric orbit.

An orbit centered around a star but fixed in radius near one particular planet but not locked into a Lagrange point of that planet is just a really useless orbit for any kind of scientific mission.

Edited by Bonam

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Lastly, it seems unlikely to be an alien interstellar probe based on its behavior. If the probe's objective of study was the solar system as a whole, then it doesn't make sense that it is in a circular heliocentric orbit at almost the exact same radius as the Earth. It would want to be in an elliptical orbit that would let it study all the planets up close. And if it's objective was to study just the Earth, then it would have been placed into geocentric orbit rather than heliocentric orbit.

An orbit centered around a star but fixed in radius near one particular planet but not locked into a Lagrange point of that planet is just a really useless orbit for any kind of scientific mission.

The flaw in our method of reasoning?

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Lastly, it seems unlikely to be an alien interstellar probe based on its behavior. If the probe's objective of study was the solar system as a whole, then it doesn't make sense that it is in a circular heliocentric orbit at almost the exact same radius as the Earth. It would want to be in an elliptical orbit that would let it study all the planets up close. And if it's objective was to study just the Earth, then it would have been placed into geocentric orbit rather than heliocentric orbit.

An orbit centered around a star but fixed in radius near one particular planet but not locked into a Lagrange point of that planet is just a really useless orbit for any kind of scientific mission.

If you want to reduce the chance of being detected, then you would put the device in that kind of orbit. Also, if it is alien technology, then its sensors would be way more advanced, allowing the probe to take a peek at us from that distance.

That's my hypothetical analysis.

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If you want to reduce the chance of being detected, then you would put the device in that kind of orbit. Also, if it is alien technology, then its sensors would be way more advanced, allowing the probe to take a peek at us from that distance.

That's my hypothetical analysis.

So you're saying there's a flaw.....

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If you want to reduce the chance of being detected, then you would put the device in that kind of orbit. Also, if it is alien technology, then its sensors would be way more advanced, allowing the probe to take a peek at us from that distance.

That's my hypothetical analysis.

I think similarly. The problem with Bonam's analysis is that it's thinking in 21st century earth tech/sci-fi terms. The future of human technology will be very different than Star Trek. Alien probes would likely appear invisible to us. If it is visible to us, it could be just one probe of many, or one that sends out smaller probes.

I find it extremely unlikely that any alien probe from an alien species with the technological capability to come this far would ever be detectable by our comparatively primitive technology, unless it malfunctioned or they wanted us to discover it.

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If you want to reduce the chance of being detected, then you would put the device in that kind of orbit.

Umm, if you want to reduce the chance of being detected, you don't just send a probe that reflects light like that and can be stumbled upon accidentally with a telescope. Even at our primitive level of technology, we can build stealth objects that our telescopes would not detect at all, even much closer than this object passed. An alien civilization advanced enough to send an interstellar probe could make it impossible for us to detect if it wanted to do so. And it wouldn't have to rely on a crappy orbit to do so.

You can be sure that any alien object that we stumble upon in the solar system by accident is not one that aliens took care to make difficult to detect.

Also, if it is alien technology, then its sensors would be way more advanced, allowing the probe to take a peek at us from that distance.

Any sensor, no matter how advanced, is more accurate the closer to the target it is. They are more advanced so maybe they can take a look from their home system without a probe, yes? And that would indeed be true. But the more they wanted to learn, the closer they'd need to come.

Edited by Bonam

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Umm, if you want to reduce the chance of being detected, you don't just send a probe that reflects light like that and can be stumbled upon accidentally with a telescope. Even at our primitive level of technology, we can build stealth objects that our telescopes would not detect at all, even much closer than this object passed. An alien civilization advanced enough to send an interstellar probe could make it impossible for us to detect if it wanted to do so. And it wouldn't have to rely on a crappy orbit to do so.

Well compare the tech that was developed when the Voyager probes were sent out, to the type of probes we could produce today. That is a lot of advancement in technology in a short time frame to produce a better probe.

You can be sure that any alien object that we stumble upon in the solar system by accident is not one that aliens took care to make difficult to detect.

Well, if they are anything like the Voyager probes, we are using them to say 'Hi!'

Any sensor, no matter how advanced, is more accurate the closer to the target it is. They are more advanced so maybe they can take a look from their home system without a probe, yes? And that would indeed be true. But the more they wanted to learn, the closer they'd need to come.

Eventually they would have to get closer. But if you want to do basic studies, then a basic probe at a distance will have to do.

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You're sure the next close approach isn't Oct 21?

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You're sure the next close approach isn't Oct 21?

Are you talking about that one that is called Elenin??

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Are you talking about that one that is called Elenin??

It was purely a joke mocking the supposed rapture on May 21 that has now been delayed to Oct 21.

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It was purely a joke mocking the supposed rapture on May 21 that has now been delayed to Oct 21.

:D

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