Cake
• I'm sure somebody somewhere is working on a movie script with this scenario you've proposed. Maybe you should make one! There's likely some similar storyline in a sci-fi novel already. With some slight tweaking...

• If it were an alien object, why the tumbling motion??

;)

• lol funny but still doesn't explain why the odd rotation or spinning.

• lol funny but still doesn't explain why the odd rotation or spinning.

I don't have any full-fledged answer to that - questions like these are exactly what I'd like to see answered or at least discussed (potentially in a sci-fi context) in here.

For what it's worth, though - the object, whatever it is, does tumble according to all the data we have. If this sort of tumbling motion is something that can occur naturally, then it can also simply happen to an artificial object (by accident, or because the Klingons used it for target practice, ...) - or it could be something the object does on purpose (artificial gravity? acceleration control? ...) - or a combination of several causes.

What I currently wonder is if this motion has been taken into account for the approximations of object mass and density in the published paper? If the object tumbles randomly (which means that it doesn't simply rotate around one of its major axes), then its biggest surface wouldn't always face the sun, and in consequence the force exerted on the object would only be a fraction of what it could possibly be.

• Oh, good point about the tumbling exposing less surface area and therefore being a less effective solar sail.

I'm running with the Klingon theory of target practice. 😁 I'll bet I could start a Facebook group where someone could confirm rumors that someone heard Neil deGrasse Tyson and Hawking whisper it to each other. They say Hawking nodded.

• It's going to take the object several years before it even reaches Pluto. In other words it'd take thousands of years to get here or anywhere else for that matter. Not very effective for a Klingon starship. Maybe the occupants are in cryo?? Let's set up a mission to go wake them up!

• Fascinating!! Abraham Loeb is the chair of the astronomy department at Harvard and this was a pretty amazing paragraph:

The point is that we follow the evidence, and the evidence in this particular case is that there are six peculiar facts. And one of these facts is that it deviated from an orbit shaped by gravity while not showing any of the telltale signs of cometary outgassing activity. So we don’t see the gas around it, we don’t see the cometary tail. It has an extreme shape that we have never seen before in either asteroids or comets. We know that we couldn’t detect any heat from it and that it’s much more shiny, by a factor of ten, than a typical asteroid or comet. All of these are facts. I am following the facts.

He expanded on those facts in his Scientific American article: