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Thread: Oumuamua Could be the Debris Cloud of a Disintegrated Interstellar Comet

  1. #1
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    Oumuamua Could be the Debris Cloud of a Disintegrated Interstellar Comet

    Since it was first detected hurling through our Solar System, the interstellar object known as ‘Oumuamua has been a source of immense scientific interest. Aside from being extrasolar in origin, the fact that it has managed to defy classification time and again has led to some pretty interesting theories. While some have suggested that it …
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    The post Oumuamua Could be the Debris Cloud of a Disintegrated Interstellar Comet appeared first on Universe Today.


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  2. #2
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    This raises an interesting question.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only evidence we have of its elongated shape is the large variance in its apparent brightness. It is deduced from that variance what it length versus transverse dimension must be if it is a solid object.

    But is that the only way its brightness could vary by such a degree?

  3. #3
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    As a solid, even a spherical object, it seems that Oumuamua could be ten times brighter on one side than on the other, and give the same photometric results. This was apparently considered too unlikely to seriously consider.

    This new suggestion of an extremely porous, light cometary fragment, of a wholly new kind, is interesting. I wonder, though, about its structural integrity; whether it could hold itself together, spinning at the rate observed in Oumuamua.

    If Oumuamua is literally a cloud of debris, it's difficult to see how it could maintain either differing albedos within itself, or hold itself in an extremely elongated shape.
    Last edited by Ross 54; 2019-Feb-03 at 03:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross 54 View Post
    As a solid, even a spherical object, it seems that Oumuamua could be ten times brighter on one side than on the other, and give the same photometric results. This was apparently considered too unlikely to seriously consider.
    One would expect that - unlikely as that one may be - the explanations that have been put on the table are similar.

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