Press Release – Source: AGU / spaceref.com
The first known interstellar object to pass through our solar system is likely a piece of a Pluto-like planet from another solar system, according to a new study published as a pair of papers today in the Journal of Geophysical Research Planets.
AGU’s journal for research on the formation and evolution of the planets, moons and objects of our solar system and beyond.
The results may help scientists learn about the stuff exoplanets are made of and the evolution of solar systems beyond our own.
“This research is exciting in that we’ve probably resolved the mystery of what ‘Oumuamua is and we can reasonably identify it as a chunk of an ‘exo-Pluto,’ a Pluto-like planet in another solar system,” said Steven Desch, an astrophysicist at Arizona State University and an author of the new study. “Until now, we’ve had no way to know if other solar systems have Pluto-like planets, but now we have seen a chunk of one pass by Earth.”