Exploring the Origin of the Asteroid Oumuamua
A new paper explores the potential origins of the asteroid 1I/‘Oumuamua (A/2017 U1). The asteroid was recently discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey, and is thought to have an interstellar origin. The paper discusses whether or not the velocity of Oumuamua can be used to provide clues about its origin, and whether or not the asteroid could have come from the Oort Cloud of the α Centauri system.
The study, “Kinematics of the Interstellar Vagabond 1I/‘Oumuamua (A/2017 U1),” was published in Research Notes of the AAS. The work was supported by the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS). NExSS is a NASA research coordination network supported in part by the NASA Astrobiology Program. This program element is shared between NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) and the Astrophysics Division.