According to a recent study, Oumuamua an extrasolar object is not made from molecular hydrogen ice. Oumuamua was discovered by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in October 2017. Later, detailed observation was conducted by multiple space and ground-based telescope detected the sunlight off the object's surface.
This observation suggested that Oumuamua is highly elongated and upto 275 m in its longest dimension. The extra-solar object also experienced a small but persistent acceleration that could not be explained simply by the gravitational pull.
However, recently, Yale University’s Professor Gregory Laughlin and Dr. Darryl Seligman from the University of Chicago proposed that ‘Oumuamua was made out of molecular hydrogen ice.
The team’s findings will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Their modeling implied that the interstellar object is approximately 100 million years old, and, assuming a speed of 30 km/s, that it was produced in a giant molecular cloud at a distance of 5,000 parsec (16,308 light-years), as reported by Sci news.
Dr. Thiem Hoang of KASI and Professor Avi Loeb from the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics were curious whether a hydrogen ice-based object could actually have made the journey from interstellar space to our Solar System.
“We wanted to not only test the assumptions in the theory but also the dark matter proposition,” Professor Loeb said.
“We were suspicious that hydrogen icebergs could not survive the journey — which is likely to take hundreds of millions of years — because they evaporate too quickly, and as to whether they could form in molecular clouds,” he added.