SETI & Technosignatures

The Inferred Abundance of Interstellar Objects of Technological Origin

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
September 28, 2022
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The Inferred Abundance of Interstellar Objects of Technological Origin
Cumulative fraction of young stars, old stars [9], and probes launched at different initial velocities bound by the Milky Way thin disk as a function of vertical height z above the galactic plane

The local detection rate of interstellar objects can allow for estimations of the total number of similar objects bound by the Milky Way thin disk.

If interstellar objects of artificial origin are discovered, the estimated total number of objects can be lower by a factor of about 1016 if they target the habitable zone around the Sun. We propose a model for calculating the quantity of natural or artificial interstellar objects of interest based on the object’s velocity and observed density.

We then apply the model to the case of chemically propelled rockets from extraterrestrial civilizations. Finally, we apply the model to three previously discovered interstellar objects — the object ‘Oumuamua of unknown origin and the first interstellar meteors CNEOS 2014-01-08 and CNEOS 2017-03-09.

Carson Ezell, Abraham Loeb

Comments: 11 pages, 2 figures; submitted for publication
Subjects: Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)
Cite as: arXiv:2209.11262 [physics.pop-ph] (or arXiv:2209.11262v1 [physics.pop-ph] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Carson Ezell
[v1] Thu, 22 Sep 2022 18:17:02 UTC (126 KB)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.