Tuesday, 21 November 2017

I'm not saying it's aliens...

... because I really don't believe it is. But there is a tiny "I want to believe" voice in the back of my head, saying:
"Is this interstellar asteroid really ten times longer than it is wide? If so, are any of the other half million or so known natural asteroids so freakishly long and thin? Because if there are no known examples from a population that size of any other natural object being that shape..."
I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation. Maybe at least one other asteriod that skinny has already been observed and I just don't know about it. Or perhaps 'Oumuamua isn't really that shape at all, but has bright and dark areas that account for the variation in brightness as it spins.

That's what I get for reading Rendezvous with Rama at an impressionable age. I have to keep reminding myself that this is almost certainly a naturally occurring Big Dumb Object.

Update - according to Monica Grady, who ought to know, sometimes a cigar-shaped object is just a cigar-shaped object.