But there’s a big difference between that speculation from a year ago and what Loeb and Bialy and are pitching now. A year ago, people were trying to understand the data as quickly as possible in order to figure out whether our instruments should look for something in particular, and that’s why wilder ideas were taken more seriously. Now, “it’s been over a year since the flyby of ‘Oumuamua,” says Bannister. “We’re not in a hurry at this point. We have all the data that’s ever going to be collected on this object.” We’re now seeking to simply increase our overall understanding of the visitor, and those things will take time to crystallize. A new hypothesis like the Harvard researchers’ is more noise than signal.