What are your thoughts on the NBC article stating the Oumuamua object may have been an alien probe?
The article itself is clearly intended to grab attention more than it is to inform the reader. If you look at the paper they're reporting on, it's a lot less sensational and, frankly, one of the only cases where the invocation of aliens doesn't strike me as entirely unreasonable.
Oumuamua defies convention in a lot of ways. It's ten times longer than it is wide, it doesn't appear to have any of the usual markers we'd expect from a comet, its acceleration profile doesn't match what we'd expect from something in a purely ballistic trajectory, and it just so happened to be following a course that took it near some places of interest.
These are the kinds of things that we expect to see from an engineered object. And it's worth acknowledging in a paper which is all about trying to figure out where that extra surge of acceleration came from. And acknowledge it is really all the paper does. The real focus is an examination on if solar radiation and light pressure could could be contributing factors rather than rigorously examining if Oumuamua could be an extraterrestrial probe.
Such a paper would probably be very short and very much a buzz kill, since it would be pretty easy to spot a reflective solar sail as it passed. And the fact that, as the article mentioned but did not explain, it was tumbling end over end would keep such a sail from working properly anyway.
That said, there are far worse things to produce a fluff piece on than astrophysics. If the idea of an alien probe zipping through the system inspires people to go out and learn more about space, I'd even call it a good thing.
Well, I have nothing against the hopythesis being investigated, if possible. It's certianly a possibility that it was a spacecraft, but it might just as well not have been.
I don't know if anyone checked if there were any kinds of signals coming form it, for example.
I also haven't checked the data, myself, to see how strange its trajectory really was, whether it's clear enough that it was "powered" by something or not. If it did indeed increase its velocity past what orbital mechanics should do to it, then that's a strong indication, since asteroids or comets should never do that.
Given that it would be such a big deal if it really was some artificial object, this definitely deserves investigating even if it seems somewhat unlikely.
I think that they are full of unfounded crap which they have to say because unless it's about aliens, bigfoot, nessie or some other happy crap they figure the average, ignorant doof on the street cannot possibly be interested.
They are talking down to you because, in their eyes, you cannot possibly be smart enough to understand how impossibly amazing this universe is without adding pure bullshit to it in the hopes of spicing it up.
They are treating you as if you are 6 years old. You need to tell them to shove their fantasy up their asses. You need to tell them they have such an impossibly narrow view of what is truly marvelous. You need to tell them to grow up.