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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Detected asteroid that came from another solar system

Por Jade

That is what the surprised astronomers say about the mysterious object with a cylindrical shape, which was detected while passing through the inner Solar System at the end of last year. Alan Jackson of the University of Toronto reported that the asteroid - the first confirmed object in our Solar System to come from elsewhere - probably originated in the system of a binary star.

According to Jackson and his team, it is possible that it was expelled from its system while the planets were being formed. "It has been wandering through interstellar space for a long time," the scientists wrote in the Monthly Notices magazine of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Discovered in October by a telescope in Hawaii to billions of kilometers, the asteroid bears the name of Oumuamua, which in Hawaiian means messenger from afar who arrived first, or explorer. It is estimated that the reddish-colored rock measures 400 meters (1,300 feet) long and moves away from Earth and the Sun more than 26 kilometers (16 miles) per second. Last month, a team of scientists led by Wesley Fraser, of the Queen's University of Belfast, reported that Oumuamua is actually tumbling through space, likely as a result of a collision with another asteroid or other object that ejected it from solar system where it originated. He hopes it keeps wandering billions of years more. At first, scientists thought it might be an ice comet, but now they agree that it is an asteroid.

This detection opens a new window on the formation of other star worlds in our galaxy, the Milky Way, according to these scientists, whose work is published in the British journal Nature. "In the same way that we use comets to better understand the formation of planets in our own Solar System, perhaps this curious object can tell us more about how planets form in other systems," Jackson said in a statement.

Systems of binary stars close to us could be the source of most of the interstellar objects that go around, both ice comets and rocky asteroids, according to the researchers. Astronomers believe that an interstellar asteroid similar to Oumuamua passes through the interior of the solar system approximately once a year. But it is something difficult to track and had not been detected until now. It is relatively recently that telescopes to monitor these objects are powerful enough to be able to discover them.

A team of astronomers led by Karen Meech of the Institute of Astronomy of Hawaii found that the brightness of the object varies up to ten times as it completes a turn on itself every 7.3 hours. No asteroid or comet in our solar system experiences that magnitude in the variation of its brightness or that ratio between length and width, experts emphasize.