Latest findings on the alien-like object called 'Oumuamua suggest that it may have come from a binary system that is different than the solar system.
New findings reported from the Center for Planetary Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough suggested that the mysterious 'Oumuamua is probably a product of a two-star system. Researchers said that the 400-meter-long object does not gravitate toward the sun as seen by its hyperbolic orbit.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Alan Jackson performed computer modeling to determine if a one-star system is capable of ejecting asteroids like 'Oumuamua. As it turned out, only two close-orbiting stars have the energy to send asteroids to voyage into deep space.
"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," Jackson said.
'Oumuamua was previously classified as a comet. However, further investigation revealed that it does not have comet-like characteristics, hence its reclassification to being an asteroid.
'Oumuamua, a Maui term for "scout." Researchers spotted the object using the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System at Haleakala Observatory.
What Are Binary Star Systems
A binary system is composed of two stars that orbit a larger mass together. Some studies suggest that more than 80 percent of the bright stars observed in the night sky are actually two stars orbiting together. Others speculate that the sun in the solar system is one part of a binary star.
In the case of 'Oumuamua, its asteroid-like characteristics are not like any other space objects on the solar system. 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.
Scientists have not yet collected data as to how long 'Oumuamua have been orbiting the solar system. The object was first spotted in a telescope on Oct. 14, 2017, when it made its closest distance to Earth of 24 million kilometers.
Currently, 'Oumuamua is far from the reach of even the state-of-the-art large telescopes as it navigates further away from the planet. Jackson said that the information they obtained from 'Oumuamua is crucial in advancing astronomical studies. He added that these data will help researchers understand the composition of Earth and other galaxies.
The new research findings are published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on March 19.