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Astronomers Find the Origin of Oumuamua


TEMPE, ARIZONA — Scientists believe they have determined the origin of the extrasolar object Oumuamua.

First observed from the Pan-STARRS astronomical observatory in Hawaii, Oumuamua means “scout” or “messenger” in Hawaiian.

Oumuamua resembles a comet but is sufficiently different to have sparked intense speculation as to its nature, including that it may be an alien spacecraft.

In a pair of papers published in the AGU Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Arizona State University astronomers determined the 45-meter, or 148 foot, object appears to be made of frozen nitrogen, just like the surfaces of Pluto and Neptune’s moon, Triton.

The astrophysicists think Oumuamua likely ejected from the surface of a Pluto-like exoplanet during a collision half a billion years ago that sent it tumbling out toward our solar system.

SOURCES: Arizona State University, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

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