Some of the theories put forward to explain 'Oumuamuas behavior include it being a hydrogen or nitrogen iceberg. This could explain 'Oumuamua's non-gravitational accelleration as outgassing of nitrogen or hydrogen would not have been detected.

I can understand why nitrogen gas would not have been detectable when observing through a thick nitrogen Earth atmosphere, but 'Oumuamua has also been observed by Hubble and Spitzer, why would those not be able to see nitrogen or hydrogen outgassing?

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    $\begingroup$ Hydrogen molecules are not the same as hydrogen atoms. Here I show the two dimensional spectrum (an echellogram) of the emitted light from excited hydrogen atoms (the visible Balmer lines) and excited hydrogen molecules, e.g., the Fulcher alpha bands and all the non-line emission. So detection depends on whether the out gassed substances are in excited states and the emission intensities. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ Do you have some sources for these theories and claims e.g. a link to an article you might have read which raises these points? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ @planetmaker See the wikipedia article, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CA%BBOumuamua#Discussion, which contains references to these theories and criticisms. $\endgroup$
    – JanKanis
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 15:08


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