Oumuamua: The First Known Interstellar Object Gets Unexpected Boost

You probably remembered Oumuamua, the interstellar visitor that came to our solar system. Yeah, and NASA is now saying that it got an unexpected boost in its speed.

The last update on Oumuamua was it’s not an asteroid as astronomers thought but a comet. Normally, a big amount of gas and dust is ejected by the comets as they turn into a sizzling rock because of the sun.

But “there were no visible signs of outgassing from Oumuamua, so these forces were not expected.” Said Olivier Hainaut; a scientist at European Southern Observatory. Davide Farnocchia from Central for Near Earth Object Studies at Jet Propulsive Laboratory noticed it when analyzing the trajectory that the speed boost was consistent with Oumuamua’s behavior.

He said, “This additional subtle force on Oumuamua likely is caused by jets of gaseous material expelled from its surface, this same kind of outgassing affects the motion of many comets in our solar system.”

The scientists are thinking that the outgassing of Oumuamua might give the comet the boost in speed. “Our high-precision measurements of Oumuamua’s position revealed that there was something affecting its motion other than the gravitational forces of the sun and planets,” said Marco Micheli.

Oumuamua is the first and only object that came in our solar system from the interstellar space. So, researchers said that this 800 meters long comet should be observed with actual care as it’s hard to come to any conclusion about such celestial bodies about which we don’t know anything. Oumuamua is now being observed with Green Back Telescope, Hubble Telescope etc. and scientists are hoping to get to know more about the interstellar space.

As Karen Meech, an astronomer at University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy said, “The more we study Oumuamua, the more exciting it gets. I’m amazed at how much we have learned from a short, intense observing campaign. I can hardly wait for the next interstellar object.”

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