Coincidence Or…?

March 26, 2023

Back in 1973, British author Sir Arthur C Clarke, wrote a series of science fiction novels co-authored with writer and engineer Gentry Lee, a trilogy surrounding the ideas first presented in the first book of the trilogy, Rendezvous with Rama. In the first novel, a 30 kilometre long cylindrical object is spotted entering our solar system by Spacegaurd, (a real organization that has been in operation from about 1992).

This object that came to be called Rama, is found to be metallic, perhaps hollow, and a great deal of interest and fear, is generated by it. With our then current technology, the story takes place in 2131, we are unable to go look at this thing physically, and after a few months of Rama maintaining an un-natural orbit around  the area of Jupiter, it then leaves our solar system under it’s own power.

Because of the fear, and curiosity generated by Rama, emphasis is put on developing technology that allows us to travel within our solar system. Rama then reenters our system some decades later, and a team of scientists is launched to go meet this thing. We rendezvous with Rama, gain entry to the extraterrestrial vessel, and are met by a series of clearly engineered ladders then stairs, to the floor of the vessel. Inside Rama, there is oxygen, and gravity that is produced by the vessel’s centrifugal rotation. Inside Rama, the earth team is met with darkness, and they at first are unable to get a complete picture of the interior of the vessel.

 Rama’s behaviour on this second visit to our neighbourhood is different, instead of it’s previously holding orbit in the vicinity of Jupiter, it is now on course with Earth. As it approaches earth, brilliant bands of light ignite within the vessel that run the entire length of the interior of the 30 kilometre long vessel, giving the scientific team their first look at the vehicle in it’s entirety.

Dotted throughout the interior of the vessel are enclosed structures that are many kilometres cubed in area. The decision to penetrate one of these structures is eventually made, and inside they of course find many indecipherable alien artifacts. As one might expect, if you are an alien, and there a bunch of other aliens breaking and entering inside your home, you might think that they would show up and say, just what the fuck do you think you are doing? Not so in this case, and they are also maintaining radio silence with earth, which is giving the powers that be on earth a bad case of the heebie geebies, and earth launches a nuclear strike at Rama.

The earth’s exploration team is given extremely short notice of the nuclear strike, and only part of the exploration team is able to escape from the interior of Rama, leaving two of the team behind. These two, are somehow able to locate an interface with Rama, and warn it of the coming attack. Rama then forms a type of shield, and then accelerates away from Earth taking these two with them. In the second book of the series, Rama II, the story picks up with the previous two survivors living a spartan, scientific existence aboard Rama, where they encounter other lifeforms, of which they eventually come to find are intelligent, almost peaceful beings. Both species eventually encounter an intelligence that represents Rama, and are convinced to enter Hyper Sleep, or suspended animation for the journey to Rama’s destination which is a type of consolidation point. Here they go through a number of semi humane tests, and plans are made for the return to earth where a sizable sample of earth’s population is to be picked up. The third book in the series, has the picked up human sample grow bored and scared, they ruin their habitat that was built on the floor of Rama through environmental degradation, they go to war with a neighbouring habitat, and just before what amounts to genocide can take place, a force of Ramans shows up to stop the conflict, and the human race is forcefully put into suspended animation for the remainder of the journey. In all honesty, I was absolutely gutted as I read these scenes because I could all too easily see these scenes unfolding exactly as described. Human nature being what it is, there are times when I truly believe that people are too stupid to be allowed to live.

In 1999, the first novel of the New Jedi Order was published, this of course being an addition to the Star Wars universe. These humanoids were an invading species, and the story line takes place approximately 25 years after the events in the film Return of the Jedi. These invaders were called the Yuuzhan Vong, and their spacecraft were shaped like asteroids, comets, and other space rocks. Their initial probe into the Star Wars galaxy was missed by their patrols because of the fact that YV ships looked like space rock.

Right, okay Chris, what does these fictional stories have to do with anything?

On October 19, 2017 an object was discovered arriving in our solar system from interstellar space. It was discovered by Robert Weryk, using Pan-STARRS 1. The Pan – STARRS project is a collaboration between the University of Hawaii Institute of Astronomy, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Maui High Performance Computing Centre, and Science Applications International Corporation. The telescopes construction was funded by the U.S. Air-force. It’s primary purpose is to detect near earth objects at risk of collision with earth. It is located at the summit of Haleakala on Maui Hawaii, and went online on December 6, 2008, and is the first of three more to go on line.

When this interstellar visitor was discovered, it was named Oumuamua, which means in native Hawaiian, scout. It was travelling at the incredible speed 187,000 miles per hour, or 87.3 kilometres per second. When it was first discovered, it was about 0.22 AU from earth,  or about 85 times as far away as is the Moon from Earth. This visitor really was not interested in sticking around, on  September 9, 2017 it had passed it’s closest point to the sun and had begun to accelerate away from us. It is considered a relatively small spacial object, only about 3,000 feet long x 35 wide x 167 thick. These dimensions are small when compared to a planetary body, but if an affordable space arc were to be built, these dimensions are doable. It is red in colour, not dissimilar to objects in the kuiper belt, it is possible that the coloration is accumulated dust or equally possible, camouflage.

There are many theories as to where this object came from, most fall apart under scrutiny, some astronomers suggest that this thing has been zooming around the cosmos for billions of years. I have no real idea either, I suggest that it is an arc, I suggest that the course correction that it made through our neck of the woods, about 20° was not it’s first, nor will it be it’s last. It clearly is not a comet, it’s source of propulsion could indeed be molecular gases, using them as attitude control, just as our present space vessels use compressed air. NASA is investigating nuclear propulsion, which basically means shooting atomic particles out the rear end of a rocket, if they can make that work, then why not another species? Could they not be using a stars radiation to push the vessel?

Oumuamua is currently in the constellation of Pegasus. The current Right Ascension is 23h 53 m 55s, and the Declination is +23° 10′ 29” as of February 17, 2023. Two of NASA’s telescopes are tracking it and it is travelling at 85,700 miles per hour, or 38.3 kilometres per second relative to the Sun. It’s outbound path is about 20° above the plane of the planets that orbit our Sun. Where ever it is going, it’s in a hurry, the funny part is though, it’s only travelling about 20,000 miles per hour faster than most of our space vehicles, the Parker Sun probe being the exception. The Parker probe attained a speed of 364,660 mph or 586,800 kph at 21:25:24 UTC on November 20, 2021. The probe was launched on August 12, 2018, it’s mission was to make observations of the outer corona of the Sun. NASA spent $1.5 Billion USD on the probe and it has an expected lifespan of seven years. It will eventually succumb to the Sun’s gravity, and fall into it and be destroyed.

When I first heard about the Parker program back in 2012, I thought it was pure science fiction, something that the geniuses at NASA just would not be able to pull off, I mean it was the Sun right? Millions of degrees in temperature, gravity, crazy magnetic forces, types of turbulence that could not be guessed at, how in the hell, were we to build something that could withstand all that? To my ever lasting amazement we did, and that gives me hope that we are capable of building things like Rama, or the comet that isn’t. It gives me hope that we can change our behaviour enough to save ourselves from catastrophe through global warming, that we can engineer a fix. Yes, engineer a fix so that an incredibly risky move like, geo engineering a planet, or building a space ark is not necessary.

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