That interstellar asteroid probably came from a solar system with two suns


It's really odd that [this] object ... would be an asteroid, because a comet would be a lot easier to spot, and the solar system ejects many more comets than asteroids. Although it was confirmed that this alien object originated from outside our solar system, it was recently confirmed by a study that it hails from a binary system where two stars are revolving around each other with a common center of gravity.

With a radius of 200 meters [656 feet] and traveling at a blistering speed of 30 km (20 miles) per second, at its closest it was about 33 million km [21 million miles] from Earth.

This ejection from its binary star system could be the "violent past" it faced.

The nearest population of binary stars are also dominant sources of rocky material like 'Oumuamua, leading scientists to believe the stars in the system are probably A-type of late-B type intermediate mass stars. It is also possible that that the needle-shaped object comes from a system that embodies a big hot star because its rocky structure is not predominant in icy spatial environments.

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"It has been wandering interstellar space for a long time since", the scientists wrote in the Royal Astronomical Society's journal, Monthly Notices.

"It's remarkable that we've now seen for the first time a physical object from outside our solar system", said the study's lead author, Dr Alan Jackson of the Centre for Planetary Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough in Canada.

The unusual cigar-shaped object first emerged on Earth's radars October a year ago when it came across NASA's Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii.

When it was first discovered researchers initially assumed the object was a comet, one of the countless icy objects that release gas when they warm up on approaching the Sun. But 'Oumuamua displayed no cometary activity-no long tail, no cloud-like "coma" around its core-even after getting relatively close to the sun, so it was soon reclassified as an asteroid.

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In this context, the researchers deduced that more than 75% of the asteroids from outside our Solar System are coming from such binary systems.

The cigar-shaped rock tumbling through our solar system may be more alien than we thought.

A team of researchers has examined the data collected on Oumuamua trying to determine where this asteroid is coming from. Since then, researchers have determined that it is blasting through space at 30km/s. Astronomers now know it was an asteroid, but not one of our own.

"The same way we use comets to better understand planet formation in our own solar system, maybe this curious object can tell us more about how planets form in other systems", Jackson said.

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Back in February, a team from Queen's University Belfast helped piece together the puzzle that was its orbit, the most eccentric ever observed by an object travelling through our solar system.



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