By Paul Sutter
In 2017, astronomers were startled to find a peculiar object in the solar system.
A combination of this object’s incredible speed and ridiculous inclination revealed that it did not belong to us. Instead, this object was a visitor from some distant, unknown solar system altogether. Astronomers eventually named it ‘Oumuamua, which is a Hawaiian word that roughly translates to “the scout.” By the time we spotted the foreigner, it was already making its way back out to the interstellar depths from which it came.
Obviously, some chain of unfortunate events led to the ejection of ‘Oumuamua from its home system. But what could possibly cause such a catastrophe?
Now, astronomers have hypothesized that something like ‘Oumuamua can come from a still-forming system, and a population of giant planets can have just the right gravitational effects to spread pieces of debris across the galaxy.
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