Last Updated:

ʻOumuamua Might Be A Remnant of A Dead Planet According To Researchers

Discovery of interstellar object 'Oumuamu by Robert Weryk, maybe remnant from a planet ripped apart when it roamed too close to the faraway star it once orbited

Oumuamua

The discovery of an interstellar object called  ‘Oumuamua by Robert Weryk, maybe the remnant from a planet ripped apart when it roamed too close to the faraway star it once orbited, according to researchers. The origin of ‘Oumuamua has puzzled many scientists by its origin and the nature of the interstellar since its discovery in October 2017.

READ | India's Covid testing numbers make big single-day spike; cases cross 12,000, 414 deaths

'A remnant of a planet'- Astronomers

Astronomers Yun Zhang  and Doug Lin, in research published this week, informed about the computer simulations indicated it was a remnant of a planet or planetary building block annihilated by a star’s 'tidal forces' ‘Oumuamua, the first object from another star system found passing through our solar system, is about a quarter-mile (400 meters) long. Its elongated shape, curious motion and dry appearance - for instance, lacking a tail of dust and gases - indicated it is not an ordinary comet or asteroid.

READ | Chiranjeevi cleans his bungalow premises during COVID-19 lockdown | WATCH

Most planetary bodies consist of numerous pieces of rock that have coalesced under the influence of gravity. One could imagine them as sandcastles floating in space. Their structure can be disrupted when the force acting on the individual ‘sand particle’ is larger than their mutual gravity said Zhang, a researcher at Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur in France. When a smaller body passes near a much bigger one, tidal forces exerted by the larger body can shred the smaller one. An incident like this occurred back in 1992 with a comet called Shoemaker–Levy 9 that journeyed too close to the planet Jupiter.

READ | Rahul Gandhi says lockdown isn't the solution for Covid; offers test advice for Modi govt

Similar to the ocean tides on Earth, which result from the gravitational pulls of the sun and the moon, in space a planetary body that comes close enough to a star is subjected to the strong gravitational pulls of that star, added Zhang, whose findings appear in the journal Nature Astronomy. The planet’s near and far parts would be separated into pieces, forming an elongated band of wreckage, with some fragments then fusing together to form objects shaped like ‘Oumuamua, added Lin, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The star probably was one-tenth to eight-tenths of the mass of our sun or potentially an exotic type of relatively cool and dense star called a white dwarf, Lin said. Our scenario offers an attractive and viable alternative to the widely publicized alien space ship proposition, said. Zhang The study suggests the existence of many objects formed this way. We show the possibility of panspermia carried by these objects, Zhang said, referring to the hypothesized spread of microorganisms or chemical precursors of life on objects hurtling through space. ‘Oumuamua, meaning “messenger from afar” in the native Hawaiian language, is traveling out of the solar system and will reach the orbital distance of Uranus in August.

READ | James Harden to donate groceries to 600 families in Houston amid coronavirus lockdown

First Published:
By 2030, 40% Indians will not have access to drinking water
SAVE WATER NOW
PEOPLE HAVE PLEDGED SO FAR