Oumuamua, the mysterious object that crosses our solar system, is something other than previously thought


Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar system, is moving from the sun faster than astronomers expected. The new result suggests that Oumuamua is most likely an interstellar comet and not an asteroid.

The team, led by Marco Michel of ESA, explored several scenarios to explain the speed higher than the predictions of this enigmatic visitor, writes Science Daily.

The most possible explanation is that Oumuamua loses material on the surface as a result of the heat of the sun. The ejected material provides a small but constant force that helps to increase speed, sending the body at speeds of about 114,000 km/h through the Solar system.

This "degassing" is a typical comet behavior and contradicts the previous classification of the body, considered so far the asteroid.

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Usually when comets are heated by the sun, they eject dust and gas, which form a cloud of material around them and a tail. However, the research team did not detect any visual evidence in this regard.

"I haven't seen the tail, which is unusual," explains Karen Meech of the University of Hawaii. "We believe Oumuamua ejects unusually high dust particles."

"The team speculates that maybe the small dust granules on the comet surface were removed during the comet's journey through interstellar space, leaving only the large particles. A cloud of these particles would not be bright enough to be detected, but would explain the sudden change in the speed of the Oumuamua comet.

Also, the new results can lead to rethinking the theory of the comet's place of origin, because the trajectory of the object would be changed as a result of the knowledge of the new speed (and the reason at its base).

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