Many cosmic enthusiasts may recall the name of Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb from the brouhaha that erupted in 2019 following his observations of a mysterious solar system interloper dubbed Oumuamua. In a New Yorker interview, Loeb cogently argued that the observed behavior of the object meant:
"It can’t be, as is commonly imagined, a clump of rock shaped like a long potato, but rather an object that’s very long and no more than 1 millimeter thick, perhaps like a kilometer-long obloid pancake — or a ship sail — so light and thin that sunlight is pushing it out of our solar system."
This followed the controversial publication of his co-authored paper appearing in Astrophysical Journal Letters in November.
The blowback from peers was indeed as fierce as one might expect as if he'd co-authored a paper on UFOs as opposed to a trans-stellar object or artifact powered by solar radiant energy. For example, Paul M. Stutter, an astrophysicist at Ohio State University, shortly after the paper was published, tweeted