Interstellar asteroid Omonville: ESO / M. Kornmesser
Scientists at Harvard University have recognized the probable version, according to which interstellar asteroid Omwamwi is a cosmic sail — alien probe, which accelerates ions using the pressure of the solar wind. However, according to the researchers, the unexplained acceleration of the asteroid can be explained by natural causes. About it reported in a press release on Phys.org.
Omului — the first interstellar object that was able to detect the person. The cigar-shaped asteroid reaches a length of 400 metres and a diameter of about 30 meters. The object was found 19 October 2017 at a distance of 0.2 astronomical units from Earth (one quarter the distance between the Sun and Earth). Scientists have determined that Omwamwi contained a lot of ice, although the signs of degassing was not observed during the passage of the asteroid close to the sun. When the object began to leave the Solar system, its speed suddenly increased, not slowed down as expected by astronomers.
The most likely explanation of the speed change was degassing caused by gas emissions due to the heating sun rays. However, scientists from Harvard have put this version of the question, since the degassing was not observed, when the asteroid was closer to the Sun. In addition, such a process would lead to a change of rotation of a celestial body, and it was found.
According to the new hypothesis, Omwamwi accelerated due to the pressure of sunlight. However, a celestial body must be extremely thin relative to the diameter of its surface. Such an object must be either artificial or natural, however, in the latter case, a possible mechanism of its formation remains unknown.
A number of scientists do not agree with this statement. According to Alan Fitzsimmons (Alan Fitzsimmons), astrophysics from Queen’s University (Northern Ireland), the observed properties of the asteroid consistent with the expected behavior cometophobia bodies ejected from another planetary system.
Video, photo All from Russia.