Oumuamua – The Red Interstellar Object


Oumuamua has been on the lips of astronomers and space hobbyist for the past couple of weeks. It was discovered on the 19th October of this year by astronomer Robert Weryk at the Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii in the US. This is the first known interstellar object to be seen in the Solar System, it’s origins is a mystery that is baffling many across the fields. 

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) even classified a new designation just for Oumuamua with the letter “I”; the official designation for Oumuamua is set as “1I/2017 U1”.

The interstellar object is said to be of reddish in colour, cylindrical in shape and 400 meters in length. As the object has interstellar origins, an intelligent extraterrestrial life seeking project “Breakthrough Listen” took interest in Oumuamua. They monitored the object for any radio signals it might be emitting, but it was found to have no such signals.

Another interesting fact about Oumuamua is its carbon-rich exterior, it said to be protecting the object’s icy core. Many have speculated even if there isn’t any sign of intelligent life but this icy core could be brimming with possible single cellular organisms. As the current technology is limited, it is not possible to send a satellite or probe to Oumuamua like Rosetta was sent to study comet ‘67P’.

Although some speculate in the future, a probe could be sent as Oumuamua tumbles away from the Solar System. At the current calculated speed of the object, it be could as long as 20,000 years to escape the Solar System which includes the Oort cloud region.