Oumuamua is an interstellar object that was first detected on October 19, 2017, by astronomers at the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii. It is the first known object from outside the Solar System to pass through our neighborhood, and its unusual shape and behavior have puzzled scientists ever since its discovery.
Initially classified as a comet, Oumuamua was later reclassified as an asteroid due to the lack of a visible coma or tail. It is estimated to be around 800 meters long and cigar-shaped, with a reddish hue that suggests it is made of metal-rich rock. Oumuamua’s unusual shape and reddish color have led some scientists to speculate that it may be an artificial object or even a piece of alien technology.
Oumuamua is actually a comet
The object’s acceleration as it exited the solar system could not be explained by gravitational forces alone. Two astronomers, Dr. Bergner and Dr. Seligman, have now proposed a solution to this mystery. They suggest that Oumuamua was actually a comet, according to The New York Times, and that the acceleration was caused by minuscule amounts of hydrogen gas emanating from an icy core. This hydrogen gas was created by high-energy particles breaking apart the ice molecules. The researchers believe that this is “a surprisingly simple explanation” for Oumuamua’s behavior, resolving a longstanding debate about the nature of the object.
Oumuamua’s trajectory through our Solar System was also unusual. Its hyperbolic orbit suggests that it did not originate from any of the known cometary or asteroidal populations in our Solar System, and instead came from another star system. Oumuamua’s speed and trajectory also suggest that it has been traveling through space for millions or even billions of years, making it one of the oldest objects in the Milky Way.