Theories on the Origin of an Interstellar Small Body
A recent paper explores the potential origins of 1I/‘Oumuamua and the types of systems from which the object may have been ejected. ‘Oumuamua is the first known interstellar small body and was discovered by the Pan_STARRS survey. It has an elongated figure and does not exhibit any activity. ‘Oumuamua is very different in its appearance to small asteroids, and the study concludes that this may be because the object is not a member of a collisional population.
The study, “1I/‘Oumuamua as a Tidal Disruption Fragment from a Binary Star System,” was published in the journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters. This work was supported by the Emerging Worlds Program. The NASA Astrobiology Program provides resources for Emerging Worlds and other Research and Analysis programs within the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) that solicit proposals relevant to astrobiology research.