In 2017, University of Hawaii astronomer Robert Weryk witnessed a bizarre sighting. Thanks to his telescope, sighted a mysterious object in space which moved at a remarkable speed and possessed characteristics impossible to associate with other objects in the Universe. It was renamed Oumuamua and it was the first object sighted in our Solar System. It doesn’t appear to be threatening to our Earth, but we currently know very little about it.
The mystery of Oumuamua, the object that wanders through space
In space, the most inexplicable things can happen, such as mysterious explosions of objects or the receptions of strange radio signals, but the case of the strange object called Oumuamua, a Hawaiian word for “explorer”, currently does not yet have a very clear explanation. Astronomers observed it for eleven days before it appeared too small and dim to be detected, but very little information was gathered during this time.
Just over ten days are too short an observation window to be able to discover the nature of a space object, but currently we only know some information about its size. It is a very small “visitor”, so they call it. Its largest side is between 10 and 100 meters wide, practically less than a football field (which although it may seem, is actually a small size compared to other bodies sighted in the Universe). What was observed is that the sunlight reflecting on Oumuamua was dimming and then lighting up continuously, this means that within a few hours Oumuamua made a rotation.
It seems that Oumuamua is much longer than it is wide, comparable to a giant cigar or a pancake. He traveled at great speed and when he was warned he was already about to leave the Solar System, but the interesting fact is that Oumuamua’s gravitation was not related to the Sun.
The strangest object in space
The meeting with Oumuamua was far too short to be able to study him thoroughly, but it can be stated that it is the strangest object ever seen in space. It was red in color, like other objects already seen, but it did not behave like a comet. Its speed is comparable to that of a star, but it is not identical because the stars travel at a slightly faster speed.
Another bizarre element found by astronomers is the way the object slipped out of our solar system. Once it got closer to the Sun, it seems to have accelerated to get away. Day after day the speed increased, distancing more and more. Comets accelerate abnormally at times, due to the outgassing of materials, but experts report that Oumuamua does not have all the characteristics of a comet. It also seems that it is not even a fragment of an asteroid or a planet.
The elements we have available are too few to be able to define the nature of Oumuamua, so for now we limit ourselves to archiving this sighting. Furthermore, it is likely that our “visitor” will never return to visit us in the Solar System, thus remaining the strangest object ever sighted in space.
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