'Oumuamua was the first confirmed interstellar asteroid after it was discovered in October 2017. New research about the asteroid suggests that it likely originated from a binary star solar system. The origins of 'Oumuamua have intrigued scientists since it was first observed in October 2017.
'Oumuamua was originally thought to be a comet before being reclassified.
A new study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society researched the efficiency of binary star systems to eject objects out of their system. Binary star systems account for more than 80 percent of the single points of light we observe in the night sky.
The study found that rocky objects are more likely to have originated in binary star systems than from single star systems like the one Earth is located in. Scientists were also able to determine that these start systems ejected rocky objects in comparison to the number of icy objects.
Lead author Dr. Alan Jackson says that it is odd that the first interstellar object that was observed was an asteroid because it would be easier to spot than a comet. He added that it was strange because the solar system ejects more comets than asteroids.
Once researchers were able to determine that binary star systems were efficient in ejecting rocky object, they came to the conclusion that 'Oumuamua likely came from a binary star system.
They've also determined the type of binary star system that it came from. Researchers say that 'Oumuamua likely originated from a relatively hot, high mass star since this type of system would have a greater number of rocky objects closer to it. They've also determined that 'Oumuamua may have been ejected during the formation of the planets in that system. Scientists want to study objects like 'Oumuamua to shed light on how planets are formed.
'Oumuamua was first seen from the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii on Oct. 19, 2017. It was discovered to have a radius of 200 meters (656 feet) and be traveling at a speed of 30 kilometers per second (18.6 miles per second.) At its closest distance to Earth, it was about 33,000,000 km (20,500,000 miles) away.
Scientists knew that it had not originated from this solar system because of its speed and trajectory. Its eccentricity showed that it was not bound by the gravity of the Sun. 'Oumuamua has the highest eccentricity of any object observed passing through the solar system.
'Oumuamua is the Hawaiian word for scout.