Astronomers recorded the first asteroid, came to us from the depths of interstellar space
Scientists-astronomers from the European southern Observatory (European Southern Observatory, ESO) confirmed that the detected space object that received the temporary name of A/U1 2017, is the first recorded asteroid, arrived in the Solar system from the depths of interstellar space. This “interstellar traveller”, called “Oumuamua” and wandered between the stars for hundreds of millions of years, radically different from any known object in the Solar system.
The name “Oumuamua” comes from the Hawaiian word for “first”. This asteroid was discovered on 19 October 2017 the telescope Pan-STARRS 1, University of Hawaii installed on Haleakala, in the framework of NASA for the detection and identification of potentially hazardous near-earth objects. Later, the data on the asteroid’s trajectory was confirmed by the European space Agency’s telescope in Tenerife, Canary Islands, on what basis it was concluded that this asteroid or comet was “born” very, very far from the Solar system.
Asteroid “Oumuamua”, moving with a speed of 95 thousand kilometers per hour, in September of this year took place on the removal of 0.25 AU (astronomical units) from the Sun, giving scientists little time for detailed review. To study the asteroid was involved telescope Very Large Telescope (VLT) located in Chile, scientists were able to collect as much data as at all possible in a relatively short time.
Observations from a closer distance confirmed that the asteroid “Oumuamua” moves on an open parabolic trajectory. He made his first and only visit to the Solar system. The data obtained with the FORS instrument of the VLT telescope showed that the brightness of the asteroid is changing periodically almost ten times. That and other data suggests that the length of the asteroid “Oumuamua” is about 400 meters, it has an elongated spindle shape, and turns around its axis once for 7.3 hours, like a thrown knife.
“This is an unusually large change in brightness suggests that the length of the object exceeds its thickness by about 10 times. And small deviations in a periodic change in brightness indicates that the object has a very complex elaborate form” – the researchers write, “the Surface of the asteroid has a dark red color, like the color of the objects from the outer Solar system, and he was completely passive around him there is not even a hint of the surrounding cloud of gas and dust”.
Spectrographic analysis showed that “Oumuamua” is not a comet but a rocky asteroid, the rock which is rich in organic compounds and metals. Its deep red color can be not only a consequence of lack of ice, and the resultant effect on the surface of cosmic rays to which it was subjected over millions of years.
The trajectory of the asteroid “Oumuamua” indicates that he came from the direction of the star VEGA in the constellation Lyra. Given its speed, the asteroid could be in the region of VEGA 300 thousand years ago. However, stars don’t stand still and while VEGA was in a completely different region of space. This, in turn, indicates that the asteroid “Oumuamua” through interstellar space is very, very long time.
The discovery of the asteroid “Oumuamua” marked the beginning of a new catalog, which will now be all “visitors” of the Solar system, arriving from interstellar space. Members of the International astronomical Union has already made the asteroid “Oumuamua” in the directory where it got the official number 1I/U1 2017. And astronomers believe that this directory will now be constantly updated, according to preliminary calculations, like “interstellar visitors” visit our system approximately once a year.
“We are continuing to monitor a unique asteroid “Oumuamua”” says Eno, Olivier (Olivier Hainaut), an astronomer at the European southern Observatory, “We hope more find out exactly where he came to us and in what part of the galaxy he is now heading. And now, after we managed to find the first “interstellar traveller”, we are preparing for the detection and study of the following”.
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