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Capturing Interstellar Wanderers

27 Dec 2018, 02:13 UTC
Capturing Interstellar Wanderers ESO / M. Kornmesser

Last year, our solar system was visited by our first recorded interstellar guest, ʻOumuamua. Based on the extreme trajectory of this asteroid, it is clear that it did not originate from within our solar system. Thanks to ʻOumuamua, we now have a better idea of what interstellar objects may be like. However, its passing has left astronomers wondering if some of the objects in the solar system originate from outside our neighborhood. In today’s paper, Siraj and Loeb model the most likely orbital parameters for a captured interstellar object. Based on these parameters, they identify several asteroids which may have originated from outside our solar system. Closer study of these objects could tell us more about exoplanet systems.

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