'Oumuamua binary system origins teased in latest interstellar object study

'Oumuamua binary system origins teased in latest interstellar object study

"It's remarkable that we've now seen for the first time a physical object from outside our Solar System", said study lead author Dr. Alan Jackson, a postdoc at the Centre for Planetary Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough in Canada. The study has garnered worldwide headlines.

Talking about "Oumuamua, Jackson said: "It's really odd that the first object we would see from outside our system would be an asteroid, because a comet would be a lot easier to spot and the Solar System ejects many more comets than asteroids".

At that time, the asteroid was some 33 million kilometres (20.5 million miles) from Earth and heading out of the solar system after making its closest approach to the sun 40 days earlier.

'Oumuamua was previously classified as a comet.

Determined to find, once and for all, the origins of this space object, another group of astronomers has recently conducted a study trying to discover Oumuamua's origins and how its "home" system was able to expel it.

And, considering there are a sufficient number of these binary systems across the universe, it's not hard to believe 'Oumuamua sputtered out of one-likely during planet formation.

Close binary star systems may be the source of the majority of interstellar objects out there, both icy comets and rocky asteroids, according to the researchers. 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. The asteroid is now barrelling towards the end of our solar system and has become too small to be studied even with the use of the largest telescopes on the Earth.

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Late a year ago, astronomers spotted the first object to enter our solar system from interstellar space-a somewhat reddish, cigar-shaped body named 'Oumuamua.

Binary stars are typically surrounded by rocky bodies orbiting closely to the prime ejection zone.

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

A binary star system, unlike our Sun, is one with two stars orbiting a common center. The new study made by Alan Jackson and his colleagues has published in the journal "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society" on March 19. The team's computer simulations suggest that up to 36% of binary stars can eject asteroids. Researchers are trying to determine how it got its cigar-like shape and from where it may have originated.

"Oumuamua's orbit has the highest eccentricity ever observed in an object passing through our Solar System", pointed out Jackson.

"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", says Jackson.

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