"`Oumuamua 1i 2017 U1" by Interpott.nrw Unser Kosmos / CC BY-SA 4.0

Why Was ‘Oumuamua So Weird? New Research Tries to Track Its Origins.

Oct 1, 2019

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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2 comments on “Why Was ‘Oumuamua So Weird? New Research Tries to Track Its Origins.

  • I’ve always wondered: was ‘Oumuamua actually long-&-thin, or was it a string of “regular-shaped” lumps of rock travelling together? I don’t think we have the imaging resolution required. Report abuse

  • We may get the opportunity to investigate further, as another suspected  extra solar comet or asteroid has been found.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49676757

    An amateur astronomer has discovered a comet that could come from outside our Solar System.
    If so, it would be the second interstellar object after the elongated body known as ‘Oumuamua was identified in 2017.

    The Minor Planet Center (MPC) at Harvard University has issued a formal announcement of the discovery.

    The body appears to have a “hyperbolic” orbit, which would appear to indicate its origin in another planetary system.

    The newly discovered object – initially given the designation gb00234, but now known as Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) – has an eccentricity of 3.2, based on current observations.

    This one appears to be an active comet with a tail.

     

      Report abuse

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