USM Professor Julie Ziffer believes that a tumbling, cigar-shaped object in space — named “Oumuamua” — is more likely to be debris than an alien “light sail” or probe, two theories raised by a Harvard University astronomer.
"I think it was ejected from some other system and probably is a fragment of some sort of rocky body," Ziffer told WGME-TV reporter Marissa Bodnar.
No radio signal has been detected from the object, it seems to be tumbling without control and it would have been sent millions of years ago, said Ziffer, a professor of physics.
The alternative theories have been introduced by Avi Loeb, chair of Harvard’s Astronomy Department.
A definitive answer on the object is unlikely. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology describes Oumuamua as “racing towards the outskirts of our solar system.”