Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

'Alien visitor' asteroid had a violent past

Posted on Monday, 12 February, 2018 | Comment icon 9 comments

The asteroid is a visitor from a distant solar system. Image Credit: ESO / M. Kornmesser
The space rock known as 'Oumuamua is thought to have been tumbling around chaotically for billions of years.
The 400-meter-long asteroid, which flew past our planet back in October, became the focus of much debate and intrigue after it was found to have come from a distant solar system.

Now a team of researchers who have been studying the object have discovered that, unlike most asteroids and small bodies in the solar system which spin periodically, 'Oumuamua is tumbling chaotically and may have been doing so for a very long time.

Exactly why this should be the case remains unclear, however the most likely explanation is that it had been involved in a violent collision with another asteroid at some point in the distant past.

"Our modeling of this body suggests the tumbling will last for many billions of years to hundreds of billions of years before internal stresses cause it to rotate normally again," said Dr. Wes Fraser.

"While we don't know the cause of the tumbling, we predict that it was most likely sent tumbling by an impact with another planetesimal in its system, before it was ejected into interstellar space."

"Our results are really helping to paint a more complete picture of this strange interstellar interloper."

Source: | Comments (9)

Tags: Oumuamua, Asteroid

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Still Waters on 11 February, 2018, 16:14
Previous threads:  
Comment icon #2 Posted by Black Monk on 11 February, 2018, 18:48
I'm looking forward to watching this month's episode of the BBC's The Sky At Night tonight all about Oumuamua.
Comment icon #3 Posted by stevewinn on 11 February, 2018, 18:57
i was just going to post a heads up for tonights Sky At Night. according to the TV guide its the last of the series, for all the years i've watched the Sky At Night i didnt know it stopped for a break. When does the new Series start?  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Black Monk on 11 February, 2018, 19:09
I don't know why it says that on the TV guide. It doesn't say it on It must be a mistake. I'm sure it'll be on again next month.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Eldorado on 11 February, 2018, 19:43
You're correct.  Here's the BBC Guide. There's two upcoming episodes.
Comment icon #6 Posted by NCC1701 on 13 February, 2018, 8:25
The "tumbling" that they observed is an induced  rotation to create artificial gravity in both ends of the starship.
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer on 13 February, 2018, 17:53
We can have the new Doctor check it out. Was the asteroid moving that fast that someone couldn't launch something or someone to get a better look at it?  I can't believe we just let it go by with very little investigation.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 February, 2018, 21:04
Yes it was. But that is no different to any other newly discovered comet or near Earth asteroid. These things are moving far too fast to simply launch a probe to with a few days notice. For example ESA's famous Rosetta mission to the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko required 10 YEARS and a fly-by of Mars to catch its target. Besides do you really think that space agencies have enough funds to keep a few spare rockets and multi-billion dollar space probes laying around just in case something interesting turns up unexpectedly? We didn't, which is how we have learned so much about it in just a few... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Not A Rockstar on 17 February, 2018, 6:37
How cool! Here is a bit more on it for those who missed that show.

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Self-driving car kills pedestrian in Arizona
The accident marks the first time that a pedestrian has ever been killed by an autonomous vehicle.
Amazon boss takes his robot dog for a walk
Tech entrepreneur Jeff Bezos attended Amazon's annual MARS conference with a very unusual companion.
World's last male northern white rhino dies
The last remaining male of the species, Sudan, was put down on Monday after several months of ill-health.
Did a mystic predict Putin's rise to power ?
During a meeting in 1979, blind mystic Baba Vanga allegedly predicted that Putin would 'rule the world'.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Monkeys learn to socialize
Posted 3-18-2018 | 0 comments
These young vervet monkeys must learn to socialize before being released in to the wild.
Why don't birds get frostbite ?
Posted 3-16-2018 | 0 comments
How do birds stop their legs from getting frostbitten during freezing temperatures ?
Most straws in a beard
Posted 3-15-2018 | 2 comments
Kyle Kozemchick stuck 215 straws in to his beard for this bizarre world record attempt.
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Three knocks
3-8-2018 | Canada
Two shadows of me
3-8-2018 | Bellflower, LA
I think I know what I saw
3-5-2018 | Near Sultan, Washington
Ghost, or something else ?
3-5-2018 | Ohio, USA
Black hole in Bismarck
2-14-2018 | Mandan
Trapped and chased
2-9-2018 | Saskatchewan canada
Someone calling my name
2-9-2018 | Budd Lake NJ
Strange feeling
1-18-2018 | Different places

         More stories | Send us your story
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 © 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ