Here’s the latest on the strange interstellar object called Oumuamua
A very strange object came out of the deep dark of the solar system in October 2017 named Oumuamua.
This unique object was discovered by astronomer Robert Weryk at the Haleakala observatory in Hawaii.
Oumuamua is the Hawaiian word for “scout,” as the object is thought to be an asteroid coming not from this solar system, but from another star system.
The object is rather small, measuring some 350-by-115 feet, and has a reddish color. This is the first time we have seen an object like this that may be from a distant star system, not ours.
The object took a rather high hyperbolic orbit as it approached the sun, leading many to first believe it was a comet. It was named C/ 2017 U1 by astronomers but later renamed as an asteroid, A/2017 U1, as no distinct coma was present around the object, one clue that would suggest a comet.
The most interesting fact in this story is that Oumuamua was discovered some 40 days after it was closest to the sun and moving at great speeds, away from us.
Many in the scientific community have proposed that this might be some type of alien spaceship roving the universe.
As many of the world’s largest and most powerful telescopes were trained on the object to get a better idea as to what it really is, astronomers had little to go on.
Then, something really amazing was discovered: Oumuamua was accelerating as it pushed away from the sun.
Celestial objects lose speed as they move away from the gravity of the Sun and do not accelerate.
Astronomers are pretty sure the object is an asteroid shaped like a pancake, and they might have some answers as to how Oumuamua could accelerate on its way out of the solar system.
Recent analysis indicates that there may be large fields of ice on the surface of Oumuamua, and when the asteroid-like object spins towards the heat of the sun, the ice will sublimate on turn into a gas. This gas, if coming out of fissures on the surface of the asteroid, could help form a jet-like action and propel the object away from the sun.
This is only a theory, as many questions still need to be answered about this strange object.
I had the recent opportunity to interview the discoverer of this amazing object. You can listen to that interview here.
Oumuamaua is now moving past the orbit of Saturn and will not return to our small corner of the universe any time soon.
We are now searching for the next object like this, to know what it really is and where it came from.
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