"While 'Oumuamua's interstellar origin makes it unique, many of its other properties are perfectly consistent with objects in our own Solar System", said Dr. Robert Jedicke, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy and a member of an global group of asteroid and comet experts called the 'Oumuamua ISSI Team.
'Oumuamua was first seen by the Pan-STARRS1 telescope at the University of Hawaii. Astronomers named the weird object 1I/2017 U1 and nicknamed it 'Oumuamua, which translates to "scout" in Hawaiian, Fox News reported. That led some to wonder if it wasn't really an alien spacecraft, but past studies of 'Oumuamua have suggested that it's just a space rock.
"We have never seen anything like Oumuamua - it's really a mystery still", said Mathew Knight, associate research scientist at the University of Maryland in the USA who led the new analysis in a university media release.
The full findings of the study were published in The Astrophysical Journal.
However, it will be a matter of time before scientists can confirm this theory, as they expect to start seeing other planetesimal fragments from the same source come near or into our solar system in the next few years.
"This thing is weird and admittedly hard to explain, but that doesn't exclude other natural phenomena that could explain it", Knight said.More news: Amazon Prime Day 2019: Get the Best Deals
"Our preference is to stick with analogues we know, unless or until we find something unique", he said. Although some speculated that the object could be a kind of alien spaceship, researchers, led in part by the University of Maryland's Matthew Knight, have found that a natural origin is more likely. But that's where the familiarity ends. Researchers describe 'Oumuamua's movement through space as being like a soda bottle spinning on its side on the ground.
At first, astronomers thought the rapidly moving faint light was a comet or an asteroid that had originated in our solar system. How 'Oumuamua moves through our solar system is confusing, since astronomers couldn't find evidence of gaseous emissions that enable 'Oumuamua to look like it's accelerating along its trajectory. "But visually, it hasn't ever displayed any of the comet-like characteristics we'd expect". 'Oumuamua's motion, for example, is not determined by a gravitational pull, which is the case with asteroids and doesn't have a gas tail, typical of a comet.
Dr. Knight worked with astronomer Dr. Alan Fitzsimmons from Queen's University Belfast and 14 experts from the USA and Europe.
The research team considered the different ways 'Oumuamua could have ended up in our solar system and where it might have originated.
Mr. Knight said, "We tend to assume that the physical processes we observe here, close to home, are Universal".
In 2017, researchers announced the very first discovery of a freakish object from beyond our solar system.More news: Spidey’s Far From Home Costumes Come To Spider-Man PS4
The context may change if we manage to track down a remarkable trait, but it seems that there are a generous plethora of natural phenomena which may explain the unusual speed of the object.
The new research paper is primarily an analysis of existing data, including a December 2017 study of 'Oumuamua's shape and spin pattern co-authored by Knight and a team of UMD astronomers. UMD is a scientific partner of the DCT, along with Boston University, the University of Toledo and Northern Arizona University.
Knight and his colleagues pointed out that like other small objects in the Solar System, Oumuamua has a reddish color. They suggest it's possible the unusual rock was ejected by a gas giant planet that was orbiting another star.
And researchers said Jupiter may have created some of its own interstellar travelers by sneaking some of its icy objects through the sun's gravity field and into foreign solar systems.
The research team suspects that 'Oumuamua could be the first of many interstellar visitors. That telescope is called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST. "We may start seeing a new object every year". Let us know what you think of this story.More news: Dead Body of Stowaway fall from Kenya Airways Plane