Scientists have finally revealed the mystery behind the origin of the interstellar visitor that flew over Earth four years ago.
According to new research, the cigar-like object Ouumuamua is most likely a hydrogen iceberg that arose from a cloud of deep space gas.
Based on calculations of the orbit of the first intruder visitor to our solar system, they estimated that it was about 35 million years old.
‘Oumuamua took over the world in October 2017 when it was identified as the first known visitor from another star system.
Two Harvard University scientists suggested that the long and thin object was a spacecraft, prompting a frantic wave of astronomers’ surveys as the interstellar object flew close to Earth.
The experts found no signs of strange signals, and eventually concluded that the alien guest was a comet or an asteroid.
And astronomers have spent years trying to figure out exactly where the deep space traveler came from.
In the new study, researchers at Yale University suggested that the object came from a mass of gas and dust hundreds of light years from Earth.
The cool, dark region is what’s known as the molecular cloud, the spot in interstellar space that gives rise to stars.
It has no clear outer limits, and is so large that it can be seen in the night sky against the brighter background of the Milky Way.
According to the study, which used computer models to trace the historical orbit of ‘Oumuamua’, the object has two possible points of origin.
These are groups of stars called the Carina Moving Group and the Columbia Association, about 100 and 160 million light-years away, respectively.
Based on the team’s calculations, the two groups should have produced a lot of interstellar objects over time. This means that we can expect to discover more of them in the coming decades.
‘Oumuamua baffled scientists because it appeared to act as something between a comet and an asteroid.
The interstellar visitor was tall and skinny, an unusual shape, and traveled at 200,000 miles per hour while spinning in a “crappy” motion.
Perhaps strangely enough, the object appeared to be accelerating in its journey, indicating that it was supported by something.
Some scientists believe that the increased speed was the work of a space engine, while others believe that the reason for this is the natural expulsion of gas.
The new study is in line with research published last year that indicated that ‘Oumuamua’ was a hydrogen iceberg ejected by a molecular cloud.
Detailed study results have been published in the journal Arxiv.