The Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii found on October 19th a mysterious object touring at excessive velocity via our photo voltaic system. Scientists concluded that the item is an asteroid that got here from interstellar area.
In response to a examine revealed within the journal Nature, it’s the first noticed object from outdoors our photo voltaic system. Earlier than the item might sprint out of sight, astronomers have been capable of focus a number of telescopes on it for 3 nights.
“What we discovered was a quickly rotating object, no less than the dimensions of a soccer discipline, that modified in brightness fairly dramatically,” famous lead examine creator, Karen Meech, of the College of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy.
The thing was labeled as an interstellar asteroid, formally designated A/2017 UI by the Worldwide Astronomical Union. This group created the class after the asteroid was found.
Nonetheless, the asteroid has one other catchier Hawaiian identify: Oumuamua. It was known as this fashion primarily due to the placement of the telescope that found it. Oumuamua loosely interprets to “a messenger that reaches out from the distant previous.”
The asteroid is elongated nearly like a cigar. Its form is ten occasions so long as it’s large, one thing that has by no means been seen earlier than.
Thomas Zurbuchen, who’s an affiliate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate mentioned Oumuamua is proof that interstellar objects exist.
“This history-making discovery is opening a brand new window to review the formation of photo voltaic techniques past our personal.” He mentioned.
Astronomers are of the opinion that comets and asteroids are propelled at excessive velocities when photo voltaic techniques type. As a result of orbits of bigger planets, they’re sling-shot outdoors the photo voltaic system. Researchers primarily based this reasoning on what they’ve seen in our personal photo voltaic system.
The examine revealed that Oumuamua got here from the route of Vega, a star within the Lyra constellation. Nonetheless, Vega couldn’t have been in the identical place 300 thousand years in the past when Oumuamua supposedly broke free from it. It is because the item is touring at 85.700 miles per hour, which couldn’t cowl that distance to our photo voltaic system in such brief time.
As a substitute, astronomers imagine the item to have been touring to our galaxy for lots of of hundreds of thousands of years, with out being a part of one other photo voltaic system.
Telescopes like Hubble and Spitzer, are monitoring Oumuamua for so long as they’ll.
Picture Supply: Pexels