Is this cigar-shaped interstellar object an alien ship? Scientists FINALLY reveal mystery

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 04 July 2019, 09:01 AM
Scientists say that observations suggest that `Oumuamua is dense, possibly rocky or with high metal content. (Photo courtesy: www.eso.org)
Scientists say that observations suggest that `Oumuamua is dense, possibly rocky or with high metal content. (Photo courtesy: www.eso.org)

Remember Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer? The cigar-shaped interstellar object that resembles like Silver Surfer’s board has baffled the scientists for long. Some even went on to say that it can be an alien ship! However, the researchers have finally concluded that the space body can be anything but an alien ship. Latest media reports say that scientists studied data from over two years. According to skynews.com, ‘scientists tracked the reddish-coloured Oumuamua from 14 October 2017 until 2 January 2018, after which it became too faint to detect even with the most powerful telescopes.’

Astronomers estimate that an interstellar asteroid similar to `Oumuamua passes through the inner Solar System about once per year, but they are faint and hard to spot so have been missed until now. It is only recently that survey telescopes, such as Pan-STARRS, are powerful enough to have a chance to discover them.

The discovery of the first interstellar object passing through the Solar System, 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua), provoked intense and continuing interest from the scientific community and the general public. The faintness of ‘Oumuamua, together with the limited time window within which observations were possible, constrained the information available on its dynamics and physical state.

According to Reuters, the researchers wrote that a "straightforward explanation for 'Oumuamua is that it is a planetesimal" - a planetary building block - or a fragment of one - formed in faraway star system.

Its composition remains unknown, including whether it is just rock or includes some metal or other ingredients. It is currently located beyond Saturn, dashing out of the solar system.

Scientists say that observations suggest that `Oumuamua is dense, possibly rocky or with high metal content, lacks significant amounts of water or ice, and that its surface is now dark and reddened due to the effects of irradiation from cosmic rays over millions of years. It is estimated to be at least 400 metres long.

First Published: Thursday, July 04, 2019 08:49 AM
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