The first object coming from outside the Solar System was called ‘Oumuamua and its discovery, almost two years ago, raised a lot of controversy about what it was, even speculated that it was an extraterrestrial ship, the possibility that has refused a new study scientifically.
A work published on Monday by Nature Astronomy and headed by the University of Maryland (USA) “strongly suggests that ‘Oumuamua has a purely natural origin.”
“We have never seen anything like ‘Oumuamua in our Solar System, it is still a mystery,” says University of Maryland researcher Matthew Knight, in a statement.
The interstellar object, discovered on October 19, 2017, was challenging to describe because it has characteristics of comet and asteroid and some came to consider that it could have something to do with a ship sent from a distant civilization to examine our Solar System.
For Knight the hypothesis of a spaceship “is a fun idea,” but the analysis of the data made by his team “suggests that there is a whole series of natural phenomena that could explain” its strange characteristics.
The study notes that ‘Oumuamua, which in Hawaiian means explorer, is an object that “could have escaped from its original system, for example having been” ejected by a giant gas planet orbiting another star.”
With a cigar shape of 800 meters long and reddish in color, it was detected by the Haleakala Observatory of Hawaii (USA) and from the first moment it showed its characteristics, such as “a disconcerting movement” that did not match either a comet or an asteroid, although in several studies it has been considered both.
In an attempt to advance the secrets of the first interstellar visitor, Knight assembled a team of 14 American and European astronomers who recognize that they had not seen anything like it in the Solar System.
“It is rare and certainly difficult to explain, but that does not exclude that there are other natural phenomena that can explain it,” says the expert, who recalls that there is a tendency to assume that the physical processes observed near Earth are universal.
The team of experts believes that ‘Oumuamua’ could be the first of many interstellar visitors and that in the next ten years more objects like him could be seen, and it will be then “when we begin to know if ‘Oumuamua is rare or common.”
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