New theory may explain how mystery space object Oumuamua came into being: astronomers

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A new study published in Nature suggests the tidal forces that formed Oumuamua may have caused its erratic behavior.

Since its discovery in 2017, the cigar-shaped space object has flummoxed scientists with its odd shape and acceleration movements that gravity effects cannot explain.

Writing in a news release, researchers say that Oumuamua's parent body or bodies may have had a close encounter with a host star.

They say computer models show the tidal forces from stars could rip the parent body apart and turn the original object into an elongated field of debris.

The fragments may have then melted under the intense heat near the star before condescending again to form the strange cigar shape of Oumumua.

Additionally, water-ice could be trapped under Oumuamua's surface. As the object makes its passage through the solar system, the ice could be vaporized and converted to thrust, which gives Oumuamua its gravity-defying accelerations.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Space object Oumuamua has dry surface and unusual acceleration patterns
2. Oumuamua's precursor body may have been torn apart by a star's tidal forces
3. Fragments near the star were heated and then coalesced into an elongated shape
4. Water trapped in Oumamua may have vaporized to cause acceleration

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Since its discovery in 2017, the cigar-shaped space object Oumuamua has flummoxed scientists with its odd shape and acceleration movements that gravity effects cannot explain."

"A new study published in Nature now suggests the tidal forces that formed Oumuamua may have caused its erratic behavior."

"Writing in a news release, researchers say that Oumuamua's parent body or bodies may have had a close encounter with a host star."

"They say computer models show the tidal forces from stars could rip the parent body apart and turn the original object into an elongated field of debris."

"The fragments may have then melted under the intense heat near the star before condescending again to form the strange cigar shape of the Oumumua."

"Additionally, water-ice could be trapped under Oumuamua's surface. As the object makes its passage through the solar system, the ice could be vaporized and converted to thrust, which gives Oumuamua its gravity-defying accelerations."

SOURCES: Nature Astronomy, Phys.org
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1065-8
https://phys.org/news/2020-04-formation-theory-mysterious-interstellar-oumuamua.html