Four years ago, astronomers discovered “Oumuamua” – the first interstellar body known to pass through our solar system. This object showed a host of strange, inexplicable properties, some of which corresponded to an ice fragment torn apart from a Pluto-like object, according to new research.
“We suggest that“ Oumuamua was ejected from a young star system about half a billion years ago, ”the authors of two new papers published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets stated:“ We suggest that “Oumuamua was ejected from a young star system about half a billion years ago.” Given that the object exhibits features seen on Pluto and Neptune’s moon Triton, the authors and planetary scientist Alan Jackson say And an astrophysicist, both from Arizona State University, “Oumuamua may be the first piece of an exoplanet to be brought to us.”
Of course, what do they mean Is this the first a favour A piece of an exoplanet was brought to us; And by exoplanets they mean an exoplanet, because Pluto is technically not a planet (if these corrections are not what they mean To say, I say they must be.)
In their papers, Jackson and Desh classify Oumuamua as “ex-Pluto,” which I think is pretty cool. In fact, astronomers often compare exoplanets and other astronomical phenomena to those in orbit around our sun, in reference to hot Jupiter and the super-Earth. Sub-Neptune, for example. We can now add “formerly Plutus” to the list of known astronomical objects, and thanks to this, “Plutus” in general – small icy worlds located in Kuiper belts (another similar term borrowed from our solar system) of a distant star system.
Even this traveler He paid a visit to us from afar, “We had no way of knowing if the other solar systems had Pluto-like planets, but we have now seen one piece passing close to Earth,” said Desh at AGU statement. Well, that’s assuming that interpretation is correct, and if it is, then that means Oumuamua will be The first evidence of Pluto-like objects elsewhere in the galaxy.
Oumuamua didn’t stay long when he visited our region in 2017, traveling at speeds of up to 196,000 mph (315,430 km / h). This kind of speed is hard to understand, but saying it did 54 miles per second (87 km / s) helps somewhat.
The interstellar body was fast, but it was strange, too. Oumuamua is a bit small – about half the size of a city block – however Extremely thin, around 115 feet (35 meters) deep. Very strange and unprecedented this shape is at least one Scientist He said, ‘Oumuamua might not be normal at all Instead, some kind of probe is being sent by aliens. The object is also very shiny (i.e. has High albedo), has a faint comet-like coma, and displays a seemingly slight acceleration rate Not because of gravity.
to me first From the two studies, Jackson and Desh looked at several different types of ice that could exist on such an object. They did this To determine how evaporation of ice might contribute to the observed non-gravitational acceleration of the object. Scientists made calculations of how quickly these various ice caps sublimated (when A. The solid turns directly into gas) as Oumuamua passes through our sun. Factors such as mass, shape, and reflection were also taken into consideration to explain the thrust-like effect of rising ice.
It turns out that solid nitrogen is the best match. This is a very interesting finding, as Pluto and Triton are known for their hard, nitrogen-rich surfaces Lepidus is similar to that described for ‘Oumuamua.
Nitrogen can also explain the body’s unusual shape. According to the study, it was only recently that Oumuamua took on its pie-like appearance as a result of flying close to the sun. The resulting fusion caused the body to lose more than 95% of its total mass, and as the ice evaporated, “the shape of the body gradually becomes flattened, just as a bar of soap does when the outer layers are rubbed,” Jackson said.
In the Secondly On paper, the authors estimated the rate at which Pluto-like bodies could contain large chunks of ice torn from their surfaces during their youth. They also estimated the rate at which these pieces would go interstellar and make the long journey to our solar system.
A similar part, created in another solar system, after traveling about half a billion years through interstellar space, would correspond to its size, shape, brightness, and dynamics. [‘Oumuamua]The prospects for discovering such an object, as well as more comet-like bodies such as interstellar object 2I / Borisov, are consistent with the number of these objects we would expect in interstellar space if most stellar systems eject comets and [nitrogen] Ice fragments are just as efficient as our solar system. “
Object 2I / Borisov was discovered, in case you were wondering, in 2019, and it is The second known interstellar object To pass our solar system.
Matthew Knight, an astrophysicist at the United States Naval Academy and an expert at Oumuamua, was impressed by the comprehensiveness of the studies.
“The authors have done an excellent job of satisfying many of the theoretical and theoretical limitations using a simple and self-consistent model,” said Knight, who was not involved in the new research. In a letter. Their main idea, that “Oumuamua was mainly composed of highly reflective nitrogen ice, is creative and satisfyingly reasonable, given that we have sufficient evidence that nitrogen ice is common on the surface of Pluto and other large bodies in the outer solar system. “
These ideas, Knight said, have a “good chance that they are ultimately accepted as the best explanation for” Oumuamua “.
As it stands, we only know of two interstellar objects, Oumuamua and 2i / Borissov, but that may change soon thanks to the upcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the 10-year Space and Time Heritage Survey. The project.
“LSST expects to find roughly one every year, so when we have 10 or 20 known items, “We would be in a much better position to conduct a statistical assessment,” Knight said. “It will be very exciting to see how these results change our understanding of how our solar system works and reveal how similar – or not alike – our solar system is to other solar systems.”