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Space & Astronomy

New study hints at 'Oumuamua's origins

March 19, 2018 | Comment icon 7 comments



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 (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer 4 years ago
Based on this article, I wonder if there is anything left over from our Solar system whizzing through a Solar system elsewhere and getting the same interest..
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Actually the universe has so many objects like 'Oumuamua it's a wonder we haven't seen one before. It is believed that a cubic parsec of space contains around a trillion such objects, withup to 10,000 passing within the orbit of Neptuneat an given time.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Short answer: yes (although no one can be sure about the interest it is getting). Although most interstellar objects originating from our solar system would probably come from the Oort clod rather than the inner solar system.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Nzo 4 years ago
Looks like 100% conjecture from my point of view. I don't see any solid evidence for anything.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Would you like to provide some evidence for your statement or is it just 100% conjecture from you?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Silent Trinity 4 years ago
I think there will be objects like this whizzing throughout the universe, it is just that we happened to catch sight of this one and were enthralled by it's unusual shape. Fascinating what forces must have been at play to create such a shape, that is if it wasn't part of a much larger more familiar looking interstellar body and this is almost like a "shard" that has broken away....
Comment icon #7 Posted by Nzo 4 years ago
Well, if there is no concrete evidence/data/analysis that the study uses therefore it is just opinion. Look I can do it too... My OPINION is that that large asteroid is really just some alien's universal art exhibit. Its called 'The Shard'. Do I have proof of it, no. But it seems that today as long as you use the right words, like Study or research etc. all of a sudden it instantly gains credibility. In fact I believe Slashdot had something on how a lot more research today is bogus because its unreproducible and basically falls through the cracks. I suggest whomever funded this study get thei... [More]


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