The asteroid is the first confirmed interstellar visitor. Image Credit: ESO / M. Kornmesser
Researchers believe that it is very likely that the interstellar asteroid came from a binary star system.
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 researchers who have been attempting to work out exactly where it originated have determined that it most likely came from a solar system that, unlike our own, has two stars rather than one.
To come to this conclusion, lead author and planetary scientist Dr. Alan Jackson and colleagues went about testing how efficient binary star systems are at ejecting objects.
Their findings indicated that 'Oumuamua most likely came from a binary system with a relatively hot, high-mass star as this would have a greater concentration of rocky objects situated closer in.
The asteroid is also likely to have been ejected sometime during the formation of planetary bodies.
"It's really odd that the first object we would see from outside our system would be an asteroid, because a comet would be a lot easier to spot and the Solar System ejects many more comets than asteroids," said Jackson.
"The same way we use comets to better understand planet formation in our own Solar System, maybe this curious object can tell us more about how planets form in other systems."
Source: Phys.org | Comments (8)