An interstellar visitor may be a scattered remnant of a ject project like Omuamua Pluto

Artist's interpretation of 'Omuamua'.

Artist’s interpretation of ‘Omuamua’.
Image: William Hartman

Four years ago, astronomers discovered Omuamua, the first known international object to pass through our solar system. The research budget features an array of bizarre and indescribable features, some of which, according to new research, are compatible with Pluto-like icy shards.

“We suggest that ‘Omuamua was thrown out of the young star system about two billion years ago,’ declare the authors of two new research papers published in the journal Geophysical Research: Planets. Because the object object is Pluto and Neptune’s moon Triton. “Omuamua may be the first part of an exoplanet brought to us,” says author, planetary scientist Alan Jackson and astrophysicist Steven Dishe of Arizona State University.

Of course, what that means That’s it first Known Brought us a piece of an exoplanet; And by exoplanet they mean exo-dwarf planets, because Pluto is not technically a planet (if these improvements are not their purpose. Say, then I say they should be).

In their papers, Jackson and Dash classified Omuamua as “the former Pluto,” which I think is very nice. Indeed, astronomers always compare exoplanets and other astronomical phenomena in orbit around our Sun, citing hot Jupiter, Super-Earths, and Sub-Neptune, for example. We can now add “former Plutos” to the list of known astronomical objects, and based on that the Kuiper belts of distant stars (other equivalents borrowed from our solar system) are usually “Plutos” systems.

Until this traveler Visited us from afar, “We had no way of knowing if other solar systems had planets like Pluto, but now we have seen a large portion of a pass through Earth,” said Desh in an AGU. Statement. Well, assuming this interpretation is correct, which, if it is, would mean ‘Omuamua’ The first evidence that objects like Pluto exist elsewhere in the galaxy.

‘When he visited our neighborhood in 2017, Omuamua didn’t stay long, as he was traveling at 196,000 miles per hour (315,430 km / h). That kind of speed is hard to understand, but he says it travels miles 54 miles () 87 km / s) every second.

The interseller object budget was fast, but it was also fantastic. ‘Omuamua is fairly small – about half the size of a city block – too Exceptionally thin, with a feat depth of about 115 feet (115 to 35 meters). So strange and unprecedented is this shape that there is at least one Scientific Said ‘Omuamua can’t be natural And instead some kind of investigation was sent by people from the outside world. Also the budget is very shiny (i.e. it has) alchemy), has a circular comet-like coma, and shows mostly a small rate of acceleration. Not due to gravity.

A depiction of rational history for ‘Omuamua’.

A depiction of rational history for ‘Omuamua’.
Graphic: S. Selkirk / ASU

For First From the two studies, Jackson and Dash considered many different types of ice that exist on such a substance. They did this To determine how the evaporation of ice can contribute to the observed-gravitational acceleration of the observed object. Scientists calculated how quickly these different ices were submitted (while a The direct gas undergoes a tangible change) while ‘Omuamua passes through our sun. Factors such as mass, shape, and reflectivity were also considered to explain the effect of propulsion produced by sublimating ice.

Solid Nitrogen became the best match. This is a very interesting result, as Pluto and Triton are known for their solid nitrogen-rich surfaces. And for the same albedos described for ‘Omuamua’.

Nitrogen can also explain the unusual shape of an object. ‘Omuamua recently noticed her pancake-like appearance, the result of which flew closer to the sun.’ Due to the resulting malts its budget lost upwards of 95% of its total mass, and as the ice evaporated, “the shape of the body would have gradually become more flattened, as the outer layers were blackened to form a bar of soap.” By use, ”Jackson said.

In Second On paper, the authors speculated that things like Pluto could rip large chunks of ice off its surface during their youth. They also estimated the rate at which these pieces would go interstellar and travel long distances to our solar system.

“After traveling through international space for about two billion billion years, the same part, size, shape, brightness and mobility produced in the second solar system will match. [‘Oumuamua], ”The authors wrote in the second paper. “Most stellar systems are consistent with the expected number of such objects in the interstellar space if they are ejected and if they are ejected, such as objects such as the intercellular object 2 I / Borisov, as well as the difficulties of finding more comets. [nitrogen] Fragments of ice with the same efficiency as our solar system. “

Wond Budget 2 I / Borisov, if you’re wondering, was found in 2019, and that’s it Another well-known international object Passing through our solar system.

Matthew Knight, an astrophysicist at the U.S. Naval Academy and an expert on Omuamua, were both impressed by the breadth of the study.

“The authors have done an excellent job of completing the various observations and theoretical barriers with a simple and self-consistent model,” said Knight, who is involved with the new research. In an email. “His main idea, that ‘Omuamua was primarily made up of highly reflective nitrogen ice, is creatively and satisfactorily plausible, as we have evidence that nitrogen is common on the surface of ice Pluto and other large objects in the outer solar system.’

Knight said the idea “has a good chance of finally being accepted as the best specification for Omuamua.”

As it stands, we know only two interstellar objects, ‘Omuamua and 2i / Borisov, but it is the soon-to-be-coming Vera c. Rubin could change the observatory and space and time thanks to a 10-year legacy survey. Project.

“It is assumed that LSST detects about one every year, so when we have 10 or 20 known object objects, “We’ll be in a better position to do 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 whether our solar system is the same for our solar system – how it reveals.”