OmomoIt was the first interstellar object found near the earth, leaving us with more questions than answers. Visitors were first observed when they left the solar system, and the limited data that the observatory was able to collect proved difficult to explain. What we do know is that’Oumuamua is neither a comet nor an asteroid, and so far the strange theories about its origin cannot fully explain its characteristics.
However, two years later, the second interstellar visitor was discovered-and it is impossible for it to be farther from Oumomo in nature. Borisov has striking similarities with comets from faraway regions of our solar system, but it orbits in a clearly hyperbolic orbit. As the first interstellar comet, the similarity between Borisov and the known celestial bodies in the solar system has brought an unprecedented and exciting opportunity for “Omomo”: a direct comparison between the solar system and its cosmic neighborhood.
in a New article exist Monthly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, We report for the first time the unintuitive reality revealed by the discovery of the first interstellar comet: the Oort Cloud, the huge library of comets in our solar system, extends to half of the nearest stars and has more visitors than permanent residents.Near the earth, there are more comets from inside the solar system than comets from outside the solar system-therefore, since the first comet was detected by a telescope, there has been only one definite intruder Gottfried Kirch in 1680But this observation does not represent most positions in the solar system, because it will be biased by our distance from the sun.
Due to gravitational focus, the sun preferentially attracts comets from the inner solar system, just like a lamppost beckoning swarms of moths. On the other hand, interstellar celestial bodies circling the galaxy at a high speed are hardly affected by the sun’s gravitational force, so they will not gather near the sun like the Oort Cloud celestial bodies. Our new work shows that there are so many of them that, despite their speed, there are far more interstellar intruders in the dark regions of the solar system than local comets at any given time.
This conclusion has a profound impact on future observations and theories.It inspired new searches for objects in the Oort cloud, including stellar occultation surveys, such as Taoist II Scan the light spots in the starlight in the sky, which are caused by the accidental arrangement of nearby objects and distant stars. At the same time, this new discovery directly challenges our theoretical understanding of how planets form, because it means that planetary systems must throw out several orders of magnitude more mass than previously thought. In fact, our new paper suggests that stars may have to emit at least as much mass as they hold—a surprising new limit for the formation of planetary systems.
The future discovery of interstellar objects will continue to provide information for us to understand the solar system in the context of the Milky Way. Spatio-temporal Heritage Survey (LSST) Vera C. Rubin ObservatoryIt is scheduled to start operation at the end of 2023, and it is expected that at least one interstellar object will be found every month. This speed will help us Check the origin of interstellar objectsAnd learn more about how stars and planetary systems form. However, the most exciting scientific revelation about interstellar objects is likely to come from the direct study of interstellar matter. What are these amazing objects made of?European Space Agency spends hundreds of millions of dollars Comet Interceptor If someone approaches the sun at the right time, speed, and direction, missions in the 2030s may be able to sample the gas tails of celestial bodies like Borisov.
There is another way to find interstellar objects, and even the first samples of material from outside the solar system can be obtained at a relatively low cost and a comfortable surface of the earth. Any matter in contact with the atmosphere of our planet will burn out due to friction with the air, and a light will appear briefly in the sky-a meteor. Therefore, it is easier to find small objects in the atmosphere than in space, and in space we must rely on reflected sunlight.Although the search volume provided by the atmosphere is much smaller than that of space, the number of smaller interstellar objects should be large enough to search for interstellar meteors. An attractive idea.
In fact, when analyzing the publicly accessible U.S. government meteor data set in 2019, I found that the recorded impact seemed to come too fast to bind to the solar system.I can’t believe it because astronomers are always looking for interstellar meteors 1950 or earlier. This discovery was later Preliminary confirmation As the first interstellar meteor larger than dust, Pentagon officials expressed interest in deciphering error bars related to detection in view of its huge scientific value.
As Director of Interstellar Objects Research Galileo Project, I’m trying to use an unclassified and transparent sensor network to find gram-level interstellar meteoroids in our atmosphere. Consistent with the interstellar objects that LSST will detect near the earth, these discoveries will completely change our understanding of the solar system in the context of our peers. The holy grail of interstellar meteoroids will be kilogram-sized or larger objects burning above land, because such events may leave meteorites that are easily recovered-these rocks may represent the first interstellar material ever obtained by mankind. Such a goal can be accomplished in ten years, and only tens of millions of dollars-the budget is ten times smaller than the Comet Interceptor mission-there are a thousand globally distributed passive all-sky camera systems patiently waiting for the well-known needle into one Haystack meteoroids add luster to our planet.
One of the most beautiful aspects of interstellar object research is that it links so many different fields in astrophysics, from planetary science to high-energy phenomena, combined with the same diverse detection methods. Like other branches of “multi-messenger” astronomy seeking to complement traditional astronomical survey methods, such as gravitational wave and neutrino surveys, the search for interstellar objects can help reveal unprecedented insights and challenge the way we understand our place in the universe.
This is an opinion and analysis article; opinions expressed Author or author Not necessarily those Scientific american.