Interstellar object Omwamwi not only has a strange name, but still incomprehensible nature of the origin. Astronomers from Yale and Chicago universities have suggested that this is a completely new type of object — hydrogen iceberg.
Omwamwi was discovered in 2017. In his path was clear — the object is “not local”. After spending millions of years in the intergalactic space, the celestial body passed through our area.
The origin is not the only mystery. In contrast to the almost round shape of most asteroids and comets, Omwamwi is a flattened oval with a length of about 274 meters. Even more surprisingly, the celestial body is markedly accelerated, leaving our Solar system.
That is why scientists have suggested that it may be something entirely new. According to researchers Omwamwi can be hydrogen iceberg. It explains all of its strange properties.
The idea is that in dense molecular clouds in space temperature may be so low that hydrogen freezes. Therefore, these icebergs can simply drift millions of years until they happen to pass close to a star like ours.
“When Omwamwi passed close to the Sun, melting the hydrogen quickly boiled over on the ice surface, providing acceleration and reducing a celestial body to its strange, elongated shape. It looks like a bar of soap, which becomes a thin sliver after many applications”, says Gregory Laughlin, a co-author of the study.
Now it’s too late to catch up Omului — it is beyond the orbit of Saturn, but scientists hope to explore future interstellar guests.