"‘Oumuamua’s properties are consistent with a natural origin."
In 2017, an asteroid came barreling past the Earth. That alone isn't particularly noteworthy, but this object was unlike any other.
Not only was it the first to hail from outside our solar system, but it also had a weird shape and spin, plus it accelerated in an unexpected way while passing the Sun.
Astronomers dubbed the strange asteroid 'Oumuamua, and soon, speculation swirled that the object was sent by aliens — but a new study may finally put the extraterrestrial theory to bed.
On Monday, an international team of researchers published a new study on 'Oumuamua in the journal Nature Astronomy. In it, they write that they found "no compelling evidence to favour an alien explanation" for the strange interstellar object.
"‘Oumuamua’s properties are consistent with a natural origin," researcher Matthew Knight, an astronomer from the University of Maryland, told Reuters, "and an alien explanation is unwarranted."
Seems the asteroid would have needed to do something far more out-of-the-ordinary to convince the team it was sent by ET, with Knight telling Reuters, "Yes, if it made a sudden, unexplainable turn that would certainly have warranted further exploration."
READ MORE: Interstellar object 'Oumuamua almost definitely not aliens, we think [New Scientist]
More on 'Oumuamua: Harvard Astronomer Defends Hypothesis That Object Is Alien Probe