Astronomers have discovered in the Solar system mysterious object

by Edgar Hayes November 25, 2017, 1:53
Astronomers have discovered in the Solar system mysterious object

None of the known comets or asteroids in our solar system have any resemblance in shape and dimension - puzzling scientists everywhere. The uniquely shaped asteroid named Oumuamua is believed to be the first observed interstellar visitor to our solar system.

Oumuamua, which means messenger in the hawaiian language, was discovered on October 19, with the telescope Pan-STARRS1 located in Hawaii, who is tracking objects crossing the Earth.

Scientists that have been studying the object say it has been traveling at too high a velocity for too long to have originated in our solar system.

"This unusually large variation in brightness means that the object is highly elongated: about ten times as long as it is wide, with a complex, convoluted shape", explained Karen Meech, an astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii.

The asteroid also varies dramatically in brightness. The most elongated objects we have seen to date are no more than three times longer than they are wide. They suggest this unusual object had been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system. Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in the release.

This artist's impression shows the first detected interstellar asteroid ╩╗Oumuamua. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope and its world-leading Very Large Telescope Interferometer as well as two survey telescopes, VISTA working in the infrared and the visible-light VLT Survey Telescope. Credit: ESO/K. Meech et al. While missions like Nasa's SPHEREx and Voyager 2 have, and will continue to, shed some light on previously unseen aspects of our universe and interstellar space, we've still got a long road ahead of us before we can begin to explore that space in earnest.

The detection a few weeks ago of a mysterious object rock with the shape of a cigar, from another solar system, opens new perspectives for the researchers. Following its discovery, astronomers scrambled to acquire as many observations as possible in a short amount of time. This piece of faraway solar system is thought to be a dense, possibly rocky or metallic substance with no water or ice.

Oumuamua was found to be traveling at a speed of about 38.3 kilometers per second as of November 20. Its location is approximately 124 million miles (200 million kilometers) from Earth - the distance between Mars and Jupiter - though its outbound path is about 20 degrees above the plane of planets that orbit the Sun. 'Oumuamua's trajectory will next take it toward the constellation Pegasus. The correct forms for referring to this object are now: 1I, 1I/2017 U1, 1I/'Oumuamua and 1I/2017 U1 ('Oumuamua). This is the first confirmed object from outside the solar system.

What is 'Oumuamua made of?

"It's fading very fast", Johnson said.

According to Nasa, both the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes are still tracking'Oumuamua.

Astronomers are continuing to observe the unique asteroid.

ESO's Very Large Telescope was immediately called into action to measure the object's orbit, brightness and colour more accurately than smaller telescopes could achieve.

But 'Oumuamua's discovery did pose a nomenclature dilemma.


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