One thing that kept scientists captivated during the latter part of 2017 was the discovery of the mysterious space rock Oumuamua. Oumuamua was so mysterious and its shape was so odd that scientists got confused whether to call it an asteroid or a comet. But scientists were sure that the mysterious space rock was the first known interstellar object to pass through the solar system.
Now, scientists have revealed that Oumuamua had a violent past and that is why it has been tumbling chaotically instead of rotating smoothly. Scientist found out that the long cigar-shaped Oumuamua was moving very fast and that to be in an unusual way which indicated that it was not from our Solar system. Now, a group of researchers studying measurements of Oumuamua’s brightness have revealed that Oumuamua is not spinning periodically like most of the small asteroids and bodies in our solar system. Instead, the alleged interstellar space rock is spinning or tumbling chaotically and this chaotic tumbling might have there for billions of years.
Although scientists have not got any valid reason as to why Oumuamua is tumbling chaotically, they suspect that a violent collision might have sent the asteroid tumbling in the interstellar space. Dr. Wes Fraser Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Mathematics and Physics said, “While we don’t know the cause of the tumbling, we predict that it was most likely sent tumbling by an impact with another planetesimal in its system before it was ejected into interstellar space.” Fraser further informed that their modeling of Oumuamua suggested that the chaotic tumbling will last for many billions of years to hundreds of billions of years before internal stresses cause it to rotate normally again.
The researchers also revealed that Oumuamua’s surface is spotty and its long elongated face is red in color. But the rest of the body is neutral colored. “Most of the surface reflects neutrally but one of its long faces has a large red region. This argues for broad compositional variations, which is unusual for such a small body,” Dr. Fraser said. The latest study was published in the journal Nature Astronomy. The researchers are hopeful that their latest study will help to get a more complete picture of this mysterious interstellar object ‘Oumuamua’.