Interstellar asteroid likely came from 2-star system

ʻOumuamua may have travelled from a binary star system

"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", Jackson said. The study has garnered worldwide headlines.

Oumuamua, Hawaiian for "scout", entered the solar system from interstellar space after a journey that may have lasted millions of years.

With a radius of 200 meters and traveling at a blistering speed of 30 kilometers per second, at its closest, it was about 33,000,000 km from Earth. Initially, scientists thought the body was probably a comet.

Little is known about the mysterious object "Oumuamua" and it is still under wrap whether from when the object is voyaging in the universe and how it was born and ejected from a binary system. Jackson and co-workers suggest 'Oumuamua likely was ejected early in the star system's development, during the era of planetary formation.

Once they determined that binary systems are very efficient at ejecting rocky objects, and that a sufficient number of them exist, the researchers were satisfied that 'Oumuamua very likely came from a binary system.

The Sun is a single star system, but there are many systems made up of two or more stars orbiting one another about a common focus. Oumuamua came hurtling into the Solar System, did a round about of the Sun and is now on the way back out.

Although originally classified as a comet, further observations revealed no signs of cometary activity after it passed closest to the Sun in September 2017.

The unusual cigar-shaped object first emerged on Earth's radars October previous year when it came across NASA's Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii.




The new study also suggests that the composition of the asteroid may indicate it came from a binary system with a "relatively hot, high-mass star" because those kinds of stars would have more rocky material near them, according to the statement.

Backtracking its trajectory to the constellation of Lyra indicates that it's been circling the galaxy several times since it was ejected from its home system, with our Solar System being the first it has encountered.

The latter is most likely the answer, according to a study recently published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

"But we also have some idea that Jupiter-sized planets are not that common", he added.

A team of researchers has examined the data collected on Oumuamua trying to determine where this asteroid is coming from. Researchers are trying to determine how it got its cigar-like shape and from where it may have originated.

"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", Jackson said in a statement.

Oumuamua is formally known as 1I/2017 U1 i.e. the first interstellar object to pass our solar system.

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