Astronomers identified Oumuamua, the cigar-shaped extrasolar object passing through our solar system, back in October. More recently, it has made the news because its unusual qualities make for cool sensationalist headlines. Stephen Hawking, et al have not actually said the thing is an alien craft, and probably aren’t betting it is, but its unusual shape and nature mean that scientists have to check all possibilities.
It’s more likely just an unusually-shaped asteroid from another system.
Or a space whale. It could totally be a space whale, right?
In an unrelated development, NASA will make an announcement later today regarding the Kepler Space Telescope and its ongoing scanning of the galaxy for signs of inhabited planets.
UPDATE: With Google-based “machine intelligence” helping to analyse the Kepler data, NASA confirms an eighth planet in the Kepler-90 system, making it the first to tie our system in the number of known planets.
Still no sign of space whales.