The year 2017 was of great importance because many revolutionary discoveries were made in space. One of the highlights of 2017 was the arrival of the first interstellar object, first thought of as a comet, an asteroid, and then an alien spacecraft. Discovered by a Hawaiian astronomer, it was quickly called “Oumuamua” (real name: 1I /’Oumuamua), which means “a distant messenger coming first”, reflecting the origin of the mysterious object. Today it is possible that this one is only an interstellar object that walks.
Recently, astronomers believe they have finally traced the origin of the interstellar object. The cigar-shaped asteroid comes from the Pleiades group (near young stars), one of the closest places to the Earth and better perceived with the naked eye. Astronomers believe that ‘Oumuamua was probably expelled from his star system, and was sent to interstellar space, causing it to pass in front of us.
Studies by different astronomers have shown that the mysterious object is composed of ice with a carbon-rich surface and an extremely unusual orbit. It travels at about 26 km / s, and it will soon leave our solar system.
‘Oumuamua has been scanned using the Green Bank Telescope by astronomers from the Breakthrough Listen research program for possible extraterrestrial signs, but no intelligent signals have been identified so far, although more observations are planned, note an article from the program.
Now, a recent study published at arXiv gives us a glimpse of the exact origin of ‘Oumuamua.
In reconstructing the movement of the object, Fabo Feng, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hertfordshire, says that ‘Oumuamua probably comes from a group of young stars in motion, also known as the Local Association (Local). Association) located near the Pleiades. Based on the trajectory of ‘Oumuamua, this scientist simulated how the mysterious object could travel across the galaxy and compared it to the movements of nearby stars. The conclusion is that the object would have passed about 16 light-years away from 109 stars.
The study notes that it is likely that when ‘Oumuamua was first expelled into space, he would have traveled at a speed sufficient to’ detach ‘himself from the gravity of his star rather than at a much faster speed. faster that would require even more energy. This means, according to the new research, that the object should move relatively slowly at the beginning of its interstellar journey.
“Unlike most of the nearby stars, Oumuamua moves very slowly compared to the average movement of the rest of the galaxy. This suggests that he has only recently been traveling in interstellar space and has not had the opportunity to find many massive objects that accelerate it (thanks to gravity), “the study says.
As for the asteroid initially ejected, this study considers as plausible scenarios that Umuamua could be ejected from a system of binary stars composed of two stars (two suns) in close orbit, explains Feng in an article written by the The Conversation .
“Objects in orbit around one of the stars in a binary system will be greatly affected by the gravity of the other and so may be more easily ejected from the system than if it had only one star.”
Finally, Feng indicates how Oumuamua is probably just the tip of the iceberg. And that there are probably more than 46 million similar interstellar objects passing through the solar system each year.