The strange interstellar “visitor” consists of nitrogen ice

Photo: artist’s impression of Oumuamua. (William K. Hartman)

Since then, the nature of the UFO, which arose from interstellar space and called it Oumuamua, has been discussed. Was he guilty (somewhat different)? Or maybe a spaceship? Two astrophysicists from Arizona State University, Stephen Desh and Alan Jackson, have re-examined the information available about Oumuamua. They concluded, “Oumuamua may have been part of a small, ice-like planet in another solar system.”

Oumuamua acted guilty in many ways, but he exhibited perverted behavior. Unlike regular comets approaching a star (our Sun) for the first time, they have not emitted any quantities of gas that could be detected. It was also flatter than anything we’ve encountered in the solar system so far. Upon departure, it appeared to accelerate somewhat faster than regular comets due to its natural “rocket effect” (the sun’s radiation pressure).

Desch and Jackson hypothesize that the body is made up of different types of ice and have investigated how quickly these ice types will evaporate with the passage of the sun. They then calculated the associated “missile impact”, the mass and shape of the object, and the brightness of its ice.

A piece of nitrogen ice

The scientists concluded that the properties of “Oumuamua” are very similar to those found in the mass of nitrogen ice – the type of ice that can also be found on the surface of the dwarf planet Pluto. A consequence of this assumption is that ‘Oumuamua, due to the higher albedo (force of light reflection) of its surface, may be slightly smaller than it is usually assumed. Thus, the impact of the missile itself would have given it a higher velocity than the comet’s average velocity.

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According to Desh and Jackson, “ Oumuamua could have been a liberated portion of a Pluto-like celestial body in a distant solar system hundreds of millions of years ago. Under the influence of cosmic rays, this part may gradually flat.

In the theory espoused by some colleagues that “Oumuamua is a piece of space technology, both scientists see little. In science, it is important not to jump to conclusions too quickly,” says Desh.

Bron: Arizona State University

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