Oumuamua may have been just a cloud of comet junk

CNET | 2/5/2019 | Eric Mack
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A respected Harvard scientist still says aliens might be responsible for the mysterious object that has stirred up so much drama since visiting from another stellar mama in 2017. Now, a longtime NASA scientist says you can save that idea for Futurama. His new research suggests it might have broken apart before it even arrived.

At this point there are just a few things everyone agrees on when it comes to the space object known as Oumuamua. The consensus is that it came from outside the solar system, it appears to have had an unusual, oblong shape, and it unexpectedly accelerated on its way out of the solar system.

Characteristics - Scientists - Number - Hypotheses - Oumuamua

Trying to explain all these pretty unusual characteristics has led scientists to produce a number of hypotheses, including Oumuamua as a dead comet, a piece of an obliterated planet and even a mysterious hunk of dark matter.

But the most earth-shattering notion so far has come from Harvard astronomy chair Avi Loeb. The astronomer suggested in November that the speedy, cigar-shaped space rock might actually be an alien space sail of sorts. The conclusion reached in a paper by Loeb and researcher Shmuel Bialy quickly went viral, and Loeb has doubled-down on the idea over and over in the face of criticism and smirks from colleagues.

Thing - Oumuamua - Fact - Way - Town

The most baffling thing about Oumuamua is the fact that it seemed to accelerate on its way out of town. This would be expected from a comet that gets heated up by the sun, causing trapped gas in its nucleus to expand and shoot through holes and weak spots in the crust, kind of like steam jetting out of the hole in a teapot. The effect can act just like thrusters on a rocket.

But there were no signs of outgassing on Oumuamua, meaning something else was pushing...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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