Astronomer here! I will never say this lightly, but we are, swear to God, actually discussing with some seriousness right now what are the odds that this was actually a spaceship. Which I 100% assure you has never happened before in my memory with seriousness.
Basically, the dimensions of this thing being so much longer than it is tall, combined with the no dust part, are both highly irregular details. Not so irregular there’s no natural way to explain them, but irregular enough that this is definitely not your normal space rock. And unfortunately we are not really going to get any more new data on this space rock, so I guess we’ll be speculating about this for the rest of my professional career.
The issue though is it is tumbling, and no thermal emission was detected. But there’s no way that doesn’t mean it’s the dead hull of an alien spacecraft from millions of years ago, my one colleague is arguing, and I’m arguing that if you had computer intelligence type beings perhaps they’d go to stasis for the millions of years the journey takes to wherever they were going (and in my scenario, they were just using us as a tidal slingshot sorta like how we slingshot by planets to save on spacecraft fuel).
But I’m sad if it was aliens that the aliens didn’t want to hang out. (To be clear, it was most likely a space rock. But right now I believe we can’t say for sure if it wasn’t a space rock based on data.) There is some potential Hubble and Spitzer telescope data in the works, so we may get a few more details about ‘Oumuamua in coming months!
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