By Tim Binnall
Astronomers studying the mysterious interstellar object known as 'Oumuamua suggest that the odd interloper originated as a piece of a larger celestial body. The curious cigar-shaped 'visitor' has been the subject of considerable speculation in the scientific community since it was first discovered back in 2017. Although the vast majority of researchers argued that the object was likely a comet or an asteroid, the possibility that it was an ET craft has also been seriously entertained by some astronomers.
Alas, a fresh look at 'Oumuamua would seem to squelch that alien speculation as researchers reportedly determined that the object is probably an active asteroid that was once a part of a planet or comet, but got flung out into space due to interaction between its proverbial homeworld and the star it orbited. This hypothesis, dubbed 'tidal fragmentation,' was derived by way of computer models which, when applied, showed that such a scenario could account for object's unique attributes, such as its shape, color, and the way in which it traveled through space.
While this new theory will undoubtedly be disappointing to UFO enthusiasts hoping that 'Oumuamua is evidence for intelligent extraterrestrial life, the astronomers behind the study indicated that the interloper and similar 'visitors' might provide insight into our own world. Co-author Zhang Yun explained that "these interstellar objects could provide critical clues about how planetary systems form and evolve, and how life started on the Earth." While that very well may be the case, based on the somewhat contentious nature in which the 'ET hypothesis' for 'Oumuamua has persisted, we're guessing that we haven't heard the last of the controversial theory.