Astronomers at Arizona State University reported this week the discovery of a bizarre object that appears to be made of frozen nitrogen. Astronomers from Arizona State Astronomers published two new studies this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research. A planet made up of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, two of the most abundant elements in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Researchers say that Oumuamua is a chip from Pluto-like an exoplanet covered in nitrogen ice – and is about the size and shape of an Earth-sized planet.
Oumuamua could be a fragment of an extrasolar ice planet like Pluto. Astronomers have proposed a new hypothesis on the origin of the interstellar object. The new theory suggests that the strange thing could be similar to a planet blown off in a massive collision with another world. It posits that it could be the result of a piece thrown from Pluto’s outer reaches as it was thrown out of its orbit around the Sun.
The new hypothesis is similar to that of scientists at Yale last year, who suggested an “icy hydrogen iceberg” in Oumuamua’s orbit around the Sun. It was proposed by a team of scientists from Yale and the University of California, San Diego, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The new hypotheses are identical to those proposed last year.
Back then, the Kuiper Belt objects around Neptune were much smaller than today, including thousands of Pluto-like nitrogen-iced bodies. Still, then they were only a fraction of what we are today. DesCh and Jackson calculated that these choppy ice masses – made up of solid nitrogen – could break off at a rate of about 1,000 per year, enough to be seen even with the Hubble Space Telescope.
If Oumuamua is really made of nitrogen ice, it allows us to draw some exciting conclusions. It could be part of a Pluto-like celestial body orbiting an alien planetary system, or it could really be an unusual object of nitrogen ice. If so, could it really be a relic of another world, or could it really be the remnants of our world?
These “frightening” objects are likely to pass through some of these “strangely large” bodies in the Kuiper Belt around Neptune, which form what the researchers call “cookies”. A piece of nitrogen ice about the size of a football field and about 1,000 times the size of Earth.
Oumuamua does not behave like a fragment of Pluto-like an extrasolar world that was forcibly thrown out of its star system millions or billions of years ago. In that case, it will allow scientists to look at the solar system’s extras in ways they have not been able to before.
According to the theory, Jupiter could have been formed by Jupiter’s collision with its parent star, the Sun, and the solar system’s formation. The IAU Minor Planet CenterIAU Minor Planet Center, based at Harvard – Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, was responsible for identifying, determining and computing Oumuamua’s orbit around the Sun and other extrasolar planets in the solar system.
Initially, researchers were fiercely debating whether Oumuamua was an asteroid or a comet. Some even suggested it could be an alien artefact.
Speculation is flying back and forth between a comet and an asteroid.
A new theory about ‘Oumuamua suggests the weird object that passed through our solar system in 2017 was a remnant of a Pluto-like world from another solar system.
Find out more about this new theory that may finally solve the mystery: https://t.co/nzWX3FJYyz
📸 S. Selkirk/ ASU. pic.twitter.com/K1lV5sATOg
— EarthSky (@earthskyscience) March 28, 2021