The asteroid traveled through space for millions of years before entering the solar system. Now a new theory provides a explanation to all the strange properties observed in that space body. American astronomers assure that the 1I / Oumuamua cigar-shaped interstellar asteroid, first sighted in 2017, could be a hydrogen iceberg, according to a new study led by Darryl Seligman of the University of Chicago.
“We developed a theory that explains all of Oumuamua’s strange properties. We showed that it is probably made up of hydrogen ice. It’s a new type of object, but it looks like many more may appear in the future, “said study co-author Gregory Laughlin, a professor of astronomy at the Yale College of Arts and Sciences.
Laughlin and Seligman claim that “Oumuamua’s behavior can be explained if it is made of hydrogen ice.” Even if hydrogen is the most common element in the universe, it is rarely found in solid form, since it requires extremely cold temperatures to solidify.
“When Oumuamua passed near the Sun and received its heat, the melted hydrogen would have rapidly evaporated from the icy surface, providing the observed acceleration and also making Oumuamua take on its strange, elongated shape, much like a bar of soap turns into a thin splinter after many uses in the shower, “said Laughlin.
According to the new study, objects that look like hydrogen icebergs can potentially form in the dense molecular cloud nuclei in the Milky Way that give rise to new stars and planetary systems. Laughlin believes that this “would provide a crucial new clue to understanding the early stages of the still mysterious processes that generate the birth of stars and their accompanying planets. “
The nature of Oumuamua (which means ‘first messenger’ in Hawaiian) has been surrounded by mysteries since the day it was discovered by astronomers at the University of Hawaii. Even, Due to its rare shape and unusual behavior, it led some scientists to wonder if it was an alien probe.
As published by RT, Oumuamua It traveled through space for millions of years before entering the solar system. It has now passed beyond Saturn’s orbit and, according to estimates, it will travel another 10,000 years before exiting the system.