& # 39; Oumuamua made headlines in 2017 when it was first discovered by the Pan-STARRS telescope. There are many theories about this mysterious object, but here are some of the strangest things about & # 39; Oumuamua.
together. Potential conspiracy theories aside, we know or believe to know a few things about this distant visitor from another world.
. 1 We have absolutely no idea where it came from.
& # 39; Oumuamua still has many secrets and we may never be able to answer. One such question is where does it come from?
We know that it has penetrated the Solar System from the coarse direction of the constellation Lyra, but that was it.
Whenever Oumuamua migrated from his parent solar system, stars were in a different position than today, so at best it is an educated guess as to where it came from.
Because of their incredible speed compared to our Sun, we know that it is highly unlikely that it comes from our own solar system. It probably will not be caught in a sun track and will only be a passing visitor.
It is quite possible that Oumuamua galvans millions of years, if not billions of years before his visit to the galaxy. We may never know our home solar system.
We also know that it has reached us more or less directly from the uneven level, where most planets and interstellar objects orbit the Sun. This means that there were no immediate encounters with one of the most important planets in our solar system.
But a team of scientists who have recently done work believes they may have a hunch. They believe that we can actually limit their origin to one of four star candidates.
After considering some serious interactions with our solar system, the scientists consulted data from the Gaia mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) to help them make their way before visiting us.
. 2 We do not really know what it looks like
Although there are many artistic impressions of & # 39; Oumuamua, who circle the net, we really have no idea what it looks like. So far, scientists have only been able to see it as a small spot of light through their telescopes.
We know that it is staggering through space and more or less cigar-shaped. In this sense, it is about about ten times longer than its width. Interestingly, most interstellar objects have a length to width ratio of about 1 to 3 at most.
Scientists know this because the brightness (or amount of reflected sunlight) of the interstellar object varies by a factor of ten every eight hours or so. This strongly suggests that "Oumuamua has an extremely elongated shape.
Not only that, but also the observational data that scientists were able to deduce that it must stagger in space. In fact, it acted like a flashlight as it made its relentless journey toward us.
We lost sight of it now, as it was only a few days in the solar system. Nevertheless, it has a very low albedo, like a hard metal surface reddened by cosmic rays. Besides, no one really knows what this mysterious extraterrestrial visitor actually looks like.
. 3 Oumuamua received a small burst of speed as he approached
Sometime during his approach to us, Oumuamua seems to have gotten one small speed boost. Observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and the ground observation stations found that its acceleration was increasing, which changed slightly from the predicted course.
"Our high-precision measurements of Oumuamua's position showed that something else influenced his movement, the gravitational forces of the sun and the planets," said Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency.
Although we may never know for certain that this is actually the case Case is, there is a hypothesis why this happened: Davide Farnocchia of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said:
"This additional subtle force on & # 39; Oumuamua & # 39; is probably caused by jets of gaseous material being expelled from its surface. This type of outgassing affects the movement of many comets in our solar system. "
However, this is only a hypothesis: unlike other visitors to space objects, such as comets, Oumuamua's outgassing was not observed." It is likely that the outgassing excretes small amounts of dust particles from the surface, which were sufficient
4 This is the first interstellar object we could observe.
& # 39; Oumuamua is the first confirmed interstellar object we've ever seen in our solar system. In spite of this, the scientists were expecting one at some point.
In fact, such an event has been anticipated for many decades.The interstellar space is likely to have billions of billions of moving objects such as asteroids and comets.
It was inevitable that some of these small bodies eventually became too
They also warn that we should not be tempted to visit vi ele general conclusions from & # 39; oumuamua & # 39; It does not seem to fit in with our general understanding of more general visitors such as comets and asteroids.
Our current observations seem to indicate that star systems regularly eject small comet-like objects on a regular basis. This means that many more would drift through the cold emptiness of space.
Future ground and space investigations could identify more of these interstellar rovers and provide more choice for scientists. Many scientists can hardly get upset when it comes to watching the next one.
Unless, of course, we're on a direct collision course with Mother Earth!
. 5 We do not really know what it consists of
Things like comets tend to generate a lot of dust and gas when they are approach the sun. However, all observations from Oumuamua show that this was not the case with this mysterious visitor.
For this reason, some scientists have considered classifying the object as an asteroid. As described above, it may have released dust particles and / or gases, resulting in some speed increase during its approach.
We know that it is highly reflective. Especially given its relatively small size.
Compared to other asteroids of the solar system, Oumuamua is at least ten times more reflective. In addition, we can not be completely sure what it is.
Other researchers at the Queen's University in Belfast note that it appears to have a strange reddish surface color. They believe this could mean it has a carbon-like protective crust instead of metal.
They also found that at one point she might have looked more like a normal comet. Its prolonged exposure to cosmic radiation has changed its composition beyond recognition.
In addition, ice could still be present in the core. If the carbon-like crust had a thickness of at least 20 inches or more then it would be sufficiently insulated against solar heat and prevent visible traces from appearing.
But all this is currently just speculation. We may never know for sure.
. 6 It will not stay close
& # 39; Oumuamua will indeed only be with us for a very short time, relatively speaking of course. After we have already crossed the ecliptic of our solar system, it is on the way back into the void.
It is currently leaving our solar system with some 26 km per second and will take over 20,000 years to finally leave us. That's a blink of an eye for galactic timescales.
To further increase our frustration, it is relatively difficult to observe this now with existing telescopes. Scientists really hope to be able to send a probe to the object at some point.
Currently, this is not possible with current technology. Even the fastest human-launched object, Voyager 1, is currently traveling at 16.6 km per second.
It is very likely that we will never make it, even when it comes to using laser probes and awnings. We may just have to wait for the next one to arrive.
. 7 It shows that we are not really prepared for the future effects of the earth.
While there are systems that may detect life-threatening effects from outer space, "Oumuamua shows us that they may not be good enough. This space visitor virtually surprised the scientific community.
His apparent near-earth trajectory was also a concern. If we "got away" with this one, it would easily have destroyed the entire city if it hit Earth.
Estimates of their destructive power indicate that they could have simultaneously reached more than 2,050 Hiroshima bombs. It could have evaporated everything within 50 km of its impact zone .
That would have killed hundreds of thousands to millions of people. If it hit a big population center, of course.
Although discovered by the Pan-STARRS telescope, which was designed to detect such things, its sudden appearance shows that more work needs to be done. Currently, more complex systems such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope are under construction, and we may need to redesign our early warning systems.